After being sidelined with a knee injury during the first half of the Detroit Lions’ battle against the New York Giants. We have learned that cornerback Bill Bentley suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Monday night’s win over the Giants and he now is out for the season, the team confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
For Bentley, this obviously devastating news. A third-round pick back in 2012, Bentley has worked really hard to become a good cornerback for this Lions team. Although, he has had his struggles in the past, some coaches felt that Bentley was finally starting to show his full potential, as he was expected to have a good 2014 season while starting at the nickel-back for the Lions.
However, now that it has been confirmed that he has a torn ACL, we won’t get the chance to see what he can do this season, which is once again unfortunate for Bentley.
To be honest, this news is just as unfortunate for the Lions. If you haven’t already figured it out, this injury does nothing to help the Lions, who have just lost a big part of their secondary and it keep in mind that their only one week into the season.
Now, since Bently was the starting nickel-back before tearing his ACL, it is safe to say that fourth-round pick Nevin Lawson, who played most of the game in Bentley’s place on Monday, is expected to play and add depth to that position moving forward.
Coach Caldwell, spoke about Lawson during Monday, presser saying that he “fared well” against Giants receiver Victor Cruz, who only caught two catches for 24 yards in the Lions win over the Giants.
“Lawson, obviously, had an opportunity to play one of the better wide receivers in this league in the slot, and I think he fared decently,” Caldwell said. “It’s a very, very challenging situation for him, but I think he learned a lot and we hope he continues to grow.”
While I do feel Lawson can probably handle starting at nickel-back, it doesn’t change the fact that without Bentley, the Lions are left with just four healthy cornerbacks. Which is why I think it’s safe to assume that the Lions will need to make a roster move to add depth at the cornerback position. Believe it or not, they already have a few options.
The Lions worked out multiple cornerbacks last week, including Chris Clemons, Roc Carmichael and Champ Bailey. Plus, the Lions could also look to their own practice squad for help. Don’t forget that former Nebraska cornerback Mohammed Seisay is on the Lions practice squad, patiently waiting for an opportunity.
In fact, coach Caldwell spoke about Seisay’s ability during Tuesday’s media presser, explaining the decision to keep him on the practice squad instead of releasing him to free agency.
“Length, speed, toughness and potential.” said Caldwell. “He’s got a big upside.”
While I think Seisay is a viable option for the Lions to bring up to the roster, considering his good play in preseason, where he even caught an interception. I still think the Lions still may need to add another cornerback to help the overall depth at the corner position and to me that comeback should be 12-time pro bowler, Champ Bailey, who the Lions worked out last week.
I know he was recently released from the New Orleans Saints but let’s not forget that Bailey is one of the best cornerbacks of his generation. Even though, Bailey is nowhere near the player he was in his prime, when he was a seven-time All-Pro, he is still probably good enough to start in Detroit and help them upgrade their secondary, especially at the cornerback position.
For starters, as a veteran, the Lions would likely get Bailey at a bargain, due to his previous injuries and declining production, so that’s a plus there.
Since he is completely healthy heading into 2014, I honestly think the Lions could see the 2012 version of Bailey. Some of you may not remember, but before he became injury riddled in the 2013 season with Denver, Bailey played well in 2012, accounting for two interceptions and nine pass deflections. While those stats may not seem impressive, keep in mind that opposing teams were usually throwing away from him, for the main fact that Bailey is in intelligent corner who will find ways to make plays on the ball anytime you throw it his way.
At 36 years old, Bailey has an impressive 785 career tackles, 142 career passes defended and 52 career interceptions. Although he may be older now, there is no doubt that coming into the Lions, he would provide another veteran presence to the Lions’ secondary, which currently starts Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay at cornerback.
Even if Bailey doesn’t start or even play much for the Lions this season, he could still serve as a great mentor to the younger defensive backs like Slay along with the many others. Bailey could teach them how to play the position and he could teach them how to become professionals, while helping to provide depth at the same time, which is one thing that the Lions want and need at this point.
Then if that’s enough, Bailey wold also provide the Lions with another veteran in the locker-room. I know the Lions already have a nice amount of veterans but trust me when I say it would be huge for this locker-room to have player like Bailey. Not only would Bailey provide leadership and guidance, but he would also provide knowledge and experience on everything football, whether it be facing adversity or simply knowing what it takes to win at the highest level.
Overall, I feel like Bailey still has enough in the tank for him to contribute in more ways than one in Detroit and the Lions need to give him that opportunity. If for whatever reason they chose not to, that will be their choice but if they don’t, I certainly hope to see someone like Seisay, earn an opportunity with the Lions.
I supposes only time will tell but one thing’s for sure, the Lions need to make some decisions about the cornerback position soon, because on Sunday they have to go up against quarterback Cam Newton and the upcoming Panther offense that includes wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be short-handed going up against that group.
NOTES: There were no injury updates from the Lions concerning starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf) or safety James Ihedigbo (neck/knee).
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
NFL Players Suspended For The 2014 Season
1. Adrian Peterson1 of 36
2. Jake Knott2 of 36
3. Brandon More3 of 36
4. Frank Alexander4 of 36
5. Stedman Bailey5 of 36
6. Robert Mathis6 of 36
7. Will Hill7 of 36
8. Daryl Washington8 of 36
9. Jayron Hosley9 of 36
10. Rokevious Watkins10 of 36
11. Lavon Brazill11 of 36
12. Dion Jordan12 of 36
13. Tanard Jackson13 of 36
14. Spencer Nealy14 of 36
15. Ace Sanders15 of 36
16. Lane Johnson16 of 36
17. Ray Rice17 of 36
18. Chris Lewis-Harris18 of 36
19. Nigel Bradham19 of 36
20. Eric Herman20 of 36
21. Brian Tyms21 of 36
22. Reshad Jones22 of 36
23. Orlando Scandrick23 of 36
24. Dwayne Bowe24 of 36
25. Jerome Simpson25 of 36
26. Donald Stephenson26 of 36
27. Matt Prater27 of 36
28. Brandon Meriweather28 of 36
29. Josh Gordon29 of 36
30. Jakar Hamilton30 of 36
31. Aldon Smith31 of 36
32. Josh Brent32 of 36
33. Josh Brent33 of 36
34. Wes Welker34 of 36
35. Erin Henderson35 of 36
36. Andre Brown36 of 36
Detroit Lions CB Bill Bentley Out For The Season With Torn ACL was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com