ALLEN PARK - The Detroit Lions got a much needed win on Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals but at one point lost all three starting linebackers, middle linebacker Earl Holmes (knee), weakside linebacker James Davis (dislocated finger) and outside linebacker Boss Bailey (ankle) -- forced to rush in special teamers Donte' Curry and Wali Rainer in their absence.
Holmes injury appeared to be the more serious of the two. His knee buckled as he was attempting to make a play in the third quarter. Bailey, who was in on special teams, rolled his ankle attempting to make a tackle and lay prone on the field for several minutes before being helped off.
``Earl Holmes came out with a knee. We're going to look more at it, but we're concerned about it," said Lions head coach Steve Mariucci. ``Boss Bailey came out with an ankle. We X-rayed it and it was negative. Of course, we'll see how sore he is this week. James Davis came out with a hand towards the end of the game too. We have a cast that will fit him beautifully, and he'll play. We were a little knicked up at corner and at linebacker."
Detroit had to realistically think of putting Kalimba Edwards, who played the position in college and a form of it in Dick Jauron's 3-4 speciality package at the position. With newly signed Nate Wayne on the inactive list along with Teddy Lehman and Alex Lewis still recovering from injury, Detroit's linebacking corps is as thin as it gets.
That's why Bailey vowed that he would not allow the injury to keep him from playing against Dallas on Sunday despite hobbling around on crutches in the locker room.
``I'm in a little pain right now, I can't lie about that," said Bailey. ``I've rolled my ankles plenty of times before and it snapped right back on the field, this one hurt pretty good, but I think I'm going to be alright for this weekend."
``I plan on being out there, I'm not going to let one little thing - a negative ankle injury - keep me down, I'm going to do whatever it takes. I'm going to treat it hard and we'll go from there."
Davis was able to pop his dislocated finger back and re-enter the game. Davis, who intends to start on Sunday, said he was not concerned when first Rainer and then Curry entered the game
``We know we've got players coming off the bench playing every day. In practice we play against each other and compete, so we knew if Donte' or Wali came in, we were going to be OK. We had everything (scheme-wise) down pat and we were going to keep playing."
If Holmes cannot go, that would mean the team would choose from Wayne and Rainer. Rainer was beaten on a 32-yard pass from Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner to tight end Andrew Bergen, that resulted in a J.J. Arrington touchdown two plays later. That made the game too close for comfort, but Rainer, who hesitated despite making the correct read, says that won't happen again.
``I make no excuse, that's my play that needs to be made," said Rainer. My eyes need to be in the right spot. That won't happen again. That's my outlook on it, the team knows and the defense knows that was my play to be made and I won't let that happen again."
Detroit hopes that Lehman or Lewis can get back on the field this week to give the team some depth heading into a tough road game in Dallas. The Cowboys play the Eagles tonight on Monday Night Football.