The Locker Room: Fairley, Leshoure ready

After injury-riddled rookie campaigns, Nick Fairley and Mikel Leshoure appear ready to go in 2012.


Leshoure ready to (finally) join backfield
Second-year running back Mikel Leshoure was so thrilled to be drafted into the NFL that he had the Detroit Lions logo and date he was drafted tattooed onto his forearm roughly 11 months ago.
About two months later, Leshoure tore his Achilles in a training camp practice, forcing him to miss the entire 2011 season.
Yet to play in an NFL game (preseason or regular season) Leshoure has been arrested twice for Marijuana possession.
The rough start to his NFL career hasn’t deterred Leshoure, who remains confident in his abilities and – despite not yet reaching 100 percent health – believes he will be ready for the start of the season.
“Mentally, I’m good. Physically I’ve feeling good as well,” said Leshoure during Monday's voluntary OTA session in Allen Park. “Confidence is there, confidence is growing. Plenty of time until the season but I know I’ll be ready to roll by the season.”
Leshoure said he hasn’t lost or gained weight during his rehab, a regiment that recently has included balance work, change of direction drills and straight-line running.
As for his off-the-field troubles, Leshoure isn’t sure whether or not he’ll have to meet with the league or if he will face disciplinary action.
Nick Fairley Looking "Dynamic"
Second-year defensive tackle Nick Fairley had similar, but less severe, turbulence in the first year of his professional career compared to those of Mikel Leshoure.
Fairley suffered a foot injury early in camp that lingered throughout 2011 as well as a marijuana-related offseason run-in with the law.
Yet Fairley looked to be in improved physical conditioning during the team’s first of OTA practices on Monday. He moved well and demonstrated the talents that made him an early first-round draft pick last year.
“Nick has looked really good throughout our drills and workouts,” said defensive tackle Kyle Vanden Bosch. “You forget how special of an athlete he is because he never really got over that foot injury. He kind of dealt with it but I don’t know that he was ever really 100 percent healthy at any point last season.
"You don’t really have a chance to heal – especially from an injury like that – during the season. He can run, he can move, he’s a dynamic athlete.”
The Lions are getting what they expected from last year’s top draft pick.
“He’s had a good offseason program so far; he can stay focused on those kinds of things athletically,” said head coach Jim Schwartz. “There’s no surprise that he looks good; that’s why we drafted him.”
Similar to Leshoure, there is no word if Fairley will receive any disciplinary action for his off-the-field incident.
After the first day of the Detroit Lions' OTAs on Monday, the biggest story seems to be a reported punch delivered from receiver Titus Young to safety Louis Delmas during team workouts.
Young was not at the team’s practice on Monday and Delmas, although a participant in the practice, was not available for comment.
The Lions are mum on the topic and will remain that way.
It is likely that those outside of the organization will never be privileged with the full details of the occurrence and rightfully so.
Altercations are not rare between teammates in professional sports and as quickly as they can occur, players can put them in the past.
The Lions own the details of this incident and are handling it accordingly.
Young won’t be back in practice until the Lions feel he should be. He also won’t be traded. Delmas and Young won’t have a rift that divides the locker room and the lingering of this story will be a direct product of the media’s reporting.
Linebacker Justin Durant may have said it best on Twitter, tweeting “I understand that this is twitter but everything is not for the whole world to know."


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