The Lions can expect to get more plays from their Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers this year and it has nothing to do with game situations or conditioning or the defensive line rotation.
Rogers simply won't have to miss plays while he replaces a contact lens or while a team doctor or trainer helps him with a contact that slipped in the heat of battle.
Rogers, like a growing number of teammates who came to the NFL wearing contact lenses, has opted for offseason LASIK surgery that corrects virtually any vision deficiency they might have.
After playing four NFL seasons, Rogers decided it was time to get his courage up and undergo the procedure.
"For three years, he was 'Don't get near me, don't get near me,' " said Dr. Kevin Everett, the team ophthalmologist who has performed the LASIK surgery on about a dozen Lions players. "But he was having so much trouble with his contacts, he finally said, 'Let's do it.'"
Rogers had the surgery at the end of the 2004 season and, in retrospect, wonders why he didn't have it done sooner.
"Any operation is a concern," Rogers said, "but when you look at the benefit, it was worth it. A one-day thing. Overnight. A little burning, but that was it."
With the elimination of the contact lenses, Rogers expects to be on the field more of the time in the upcoming season instead of missing plays to have his contacts replaced.
"I really don't know how many, but I know I missed a significant amount," said the 6-foot-4, 350-pound defensive tackle. "I missed enough on the sidelines working on my eyes."
CAMP CALENDAR: July 27 - Rookies report to Allen Park practice facility; July 28 - All players report; July 29 - First day of two-a-day workouts; August 19 (tentative) - End of training camp.
Lions' Rogers Ditches Contacts For Clear Alternate
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