Allen Park — Detroit Lions cornerback Mike Ford had to be helped off the field in the middle of Friday’s practice after suffering a lower leg injury.
Covering wide receiver Victor Bolden on a route across the middle, the two got tangled and went to the ground on the throw. Ford shouted in pain and immediately clutched the back of his calf.
While trainers attended to Ford, practice shifted to the other side of the team’s indoor field. The young defensive back was eventually helped off the field with the help of two trainers.
If it ends up being a serious injury, Ford could be the second player the Lions will have lost during training camp. Rookie defensive lineman Jashon Cornell suffered a torn Achilles in the first week of practice.
An undrafted rookie in 2018, Ford has appeared in 22 games the past two seasons, including six starts. He played a significant role on special teams last season, logging 169 snaps with those units.
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Prior to practice, Lions coach Matt Patricia said he’d been studying the trends regarding how players around the league have been physically handling this year’s shortened offseason.
“What kind of injuries are we having?” Patricia said. “Are we having contact injuries, are they soft tissue injuries? Right now, I’m seeing a lot of joints. I’m seeing a lot of hips and ankles and knees and just kind of wondering if that’s a product, or a process, from the spring where we weren’t in maybe in football-type positions like we usually are, and doing some of those fundamental drills.
“It seems like everybody’s maybe a little bit banged up,” Patricia continued. “I do feel like the guys did a good job coming in ready to go. I do feel that the process that we took to kind of get everybody acclimated back into training camp was good.”
In terms of how minor injuries impacted Detroit’s roster on Friday, the Lions were still down running backs D’Andre Swift and Bo Scarbrough, while backfield mate Kerryon Johnson didn’t participate in team drills.
Offensive tackle Taylor Decker and defensive end Trey Flowers were also highly limited, while rookie tight end Hunter Bryant remained sidelined by a leg injury.
The good news is right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai was back after exiting practice a day earlier. Patricia indicated the hulking offensive lineman had an issue related to the heat and humidity.