ALLEN PARK - First impressions are everything. But in Tuesday's opening day of head coach Rod Marinelli's first (voluntary) mini-camp, a handful of Lions were absent.
Roar Report has learned that defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, offensive tackle Jeff Backus, linebacker Boss Bailey and quarterback Joey Harrington were no-shows during the three-day event. Each player was excused by head coach Rod Marinelli.
It wasn't expected that Harrington would attend, as the team is still in negotiations with the Miami Dolphins to trade the former No. 3 overall pick.
Wilkinson, meanwhile, is still mulling retirement. Although the Lions would certainly welcome "Big Daddy" to return opposite Shaun Rogers, the 33-year old, 12-year veteran is clearly on the decline. Second-year defensive tackle and former USC standout Shaun Cody would replace him in the lineup.
The absence of Backus, while interesting, was also expected. Although Backus is not happy with his franchise tag desgination, Roar Report learned he is currently enjoying his honeymoon after recently forfeiting his bachelor status. He will likely attend future camps.
It is unknown why Bailey was absent. The former second round pick has been rumored to be making the move to middle linebacker in defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson's scheme, but the status of Bailey's health is not known.
NOTES: The Lions welcomed the return of special teams man and reserve safety Vernon Fox, center Brock Gutierrez, veteran linebacker Nate Wayne and guard Tyrone Hopson. Each was signed to one-year deals.