When last we saw this team, after the nationally-televised embarrassment against the Patriots on Thanksgiving Day, defensive tackle Corey Williams was questioning the heart and the commitment of some of his teammates. Cornerback Chris Houston was questioning the veteran leadership. Free safety Louis Delmas was questioning the team's effort.
Four days later and the message out of the locker room was on of unity: "We're moving on."
"You can ask what you want," Williams said, "but if it ain't about Chicago, I'm not speaking."
By all accounts, Williams did say his peace. There was a team meeting on Friday, though captain Dominic Raiola wouldn't classify it as a "come to Jesus" meeting or as anything out of the ordinary.
"Everything's good," Houston said. "We know what we've got to do this week. Last week is over with. We've got to come back and play these last five games hard and everything will be straight."
Houston was asked if he thought his message got through.
"I think a lot of it was (said out of) frustration, but a lot of it got to people," he said. "Everything was put to bed after the game and after the meeting last week (Friday). We're on to Chicago. It was something people needed to hear and everybody heard it. Everything got settled before we went on the break."
Houston said the captains did address the team on Friday, but would not disclose the nature of what was said.
"Nobody is upset with me," he said. "Some of the older players felt the same way I did and they took it upon themselves to address everything."
Raiola said he wasn't bothered by Houston's knock against the leadership; he just didn't agree with it.
"Chris Houston, I don't know if he was talking team-wise or defensively or what," Raiola said. "On the offensive side of the ball, the way we handle things, there are a lot of leaders over here. I don't see anybody breaking. As far as team leadership, I don't get that. It might just have been frustration after a game; that's what I think it was."
Said coach Jim Schwartz, "The main thing that comes out of this is, don't be three scores down in the fourth quarter," he continued. "That's when frustration comes in. We've seen that around the NFL this weekend. The Cortland Finnegan-Andre Johnson (fight) occurred with one team being down three scores in the fourth quarter.
"There's a lot of ways people express frustration. The bottom line is, everybody wants to do what they can to help us win. If that means saying something, for some guys that means saying something and I think players respect Corey and they respect Chris Houston."
Schwartz, though, bristled at the notion that the team lacked heart or wasn't playing hard.
"I don't think that's even in question," he said. "Our team has played hard every single week. You can't look at our scores and say anything different. I do not agree with that perception."
Schwartz said he feels the team is still together and determined to finish the season strong.
- QB Shaun Hill did not practice on Tuesday. He had a splint on his right index finger. Schwartz would not comment on the injury because the Bears were off and he didn't want to give them a head start on their game prep.
- QB Drew Stanton took most of the reps with the first-team offense Tuesday. He and Zac Robinson are the only healthy quarterbacks right now. The Lions worked out two veteran quarterbacks on Monday, J.T. O'Sullivan and Josh McCown. Neither were signed.
- QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder) was expected to start light throwing this week. He didn't do anything on Tuesday.
- RB Jahvid Best (toes) did not practice Tuesday (as is his usual routine). He said he's on the same schedule, take it easy through the week and hope he can play Sunday. He hasn't played much the last two games. Maurice Morris is again expected to start.
- TE Tony Scheffler (ribs) returned to practice on Tuesday. He missed last week.
- WR Bryant Johnson continues to be on the bubble. He has 10 catches in 10 games, far below what the Lions hoped for after giving him a three-year, $9 million extension before last season. They worked out WR Troy Williamson (a first-round pick of the Vikings in 2005) on Monday.
- DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (shoulder, knee) did not practice Tuesday. There is a chance that his injury could be long-term. Schwartz said he would talk more about Vanden Bosch on Wednesday.
- RT Gosder Cherilus (knee) was limited Tuesday. He took some reps early in practice, though he wasn't wearing his helmet.
- OLB Landon Johnson continued to work with the first-team defense. He started in place of Ashlee Palmer on Thursday.
- PK Jason Hanson (knee) was back at practice Tuesday, though if he kicked he did so after the media was banished. PK Dave Rayner was practicing, as well. Hanson thought he would be ready last Thursday, but was still unable to kick.