Coach Rod Marinelli is getting a chance to develop personnel at several positions but it's not necessarily happening for the reason he'd choose -- injuries.
On the defensive line, backup tackles Marcus Bell, Tyoka Jackson and Damian Gregory are getting heavy-duty practice time because of injuries to starters Shaun Cody (knee) and Shaun Rogers (shoulder).
Linebackers Anthony Cannon, Paris Lenon and LeVar Woods are getting more work because Teddy Lehman (foot) is still on the PUP list and MLB Boss Bailey (ankle) is practicing only once a day.
In addition, injuries to RT Rex Tucker (knee), RG Damian Woody (wrist) and OL Barry Stokes (hamstring) have created more opportunities for young offensive linemen Tom Kaleita, Kelly Butler, Fred Matua and Jonathan Scott.
The development of the younger talent is an obvious plus for the young team but Marinelli could have problems if he doesn't get his regular back in time for the start of the season.
-- OT Courtney Van Buren, signed by the Lions as a free agent last spring,
was released during the second week of training camp. With the depth of
experienced players and the presence of several promising young OL, Van Buren
--RT Kelly Butler has worked at both OG and OT during training camp but the knee injury to RT Rex Tucker has given him a chance to work with the first offense in the job he held for all 16 games last season.
--WR Eddie Drummond, the Lions kick and punt returner the last four years, is making a strong bid for a bigger role in the receiving corps in Mike Martz's offense. Previous coaches Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci used him on returns.
--DT Shaun Rogers, who is missing practice time with a shoulder injury, took advantage of the down time to have his tonsils removed. The relatively minor procedure is not expected to delay his return, which is currently listed as week-to-week.
--QB Dan Orlovsky is getting third-quarterback reps on the practice field but is making a push for the backup job to starter Jon Kitna. Josh McCown remains the No. 2 but the job is up for competition.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Devale Ellis and Shaun Bodiford vs. Glenn Martinez, Paris Hamilton, Mike Furrey and Charles Rogers. The Lions went to camp with 11 wide receivers on the roster and the two undrafted rookies are making a case for themselves, although the competition is far from decided. Ellis and Bodiford were among the players invited to participate in a rookie mini-camp and they were kept on for training camp.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: WR Mike Williams, whose weight issues and work ethic had created problems for him as a rookie, is coming off a good week of practice that seemingly earned him new respect in the competition for roster spots. Charles Rogers, however, seems to have slipped in the WR pecking order.
--It is expected that rookie Daniel Bullocks (second round) will push for the
starting FS job but veteran Terrence Holt hasn't given up the job yet.
--Although coach Rod Marinelli cited the DE positions as areas of strong competition, last year's starters -- James Hall and Cory Redding -- remain firmly entrenched as the starters, ahead of Kalimba Edwards and Jared DeVries.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DE Cory Redding played like a man on a mission in the opening days of training camp and has maintained the pace -- and intensity -- through the ensuing days of camp. In a goal-line scrimmage late in the week, he was the defense's vocal leader and also a play-making leader. Marinelli said he is pleased with Redding's work so far in camp.
ROOKIE REPORT: LB Ernie Sims is progressing in his battle for a starting job, taking mental reps when he is not actually taking a play on the field. Coach Rod Marinelli has made it clear he'll have to win a starting job, it won't be handed to him.
--FS Daniel Bullocks is working primarily with the second defense but is
expected to compete for a starting job with veteran Terrence Holt when the
exhibition season gets underway.
--RB Brian Calhoun has shown speed and quickness, and is in the competition for a backup role behind RB Kevin Jones.
--OT Jonathan Scott is practicing at RT and getting more work than he might have expected because of injuries to starter Rex Tucker and backup G/T Barry Stokes.
--CB Dee McCann is working primarily with the third defensive backfield unit but could win a roster position if he is good enough on special teams coverage units.
--OL Fred Matua, a guard at USC, has taken snaps at both guard and center, working with backup OL units.
--LB Anthony Cannon got off to a fast start, getting more work than expected because of injuries to Boss Bailey and Teddy Lehman, but he missed a couple of days of practice with a pinky finger injury.
INJURY REPORT: Three players remain on PUP -- LB Teddy Lehman (foot), TE Dan Campbell (elbow) and WR Scottie Vines (groin) -- and the injury list continued to grow. Most of the injuries are considered minor but DT Shaun Cody (knee) has missed a full week of work and Pro Bowl DT Shaun Rogers (shoulder) is listed as week-to-week, as is starting RT Rex Tucker (knee). RG Damien Woody is expected to miss two weeks of practice for repairs to his right wrist, which was injured in mini-camp and reinjured last week.