Schwartz to Lions: You're Grounded

After his team's ghastly performance, Lions coach Jim Schwartz suspended team practices until Wednesday, essentially reprimanding the entire ball club.

The Lions' players are taking Monday and Tuesday off as they prepare to face the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals. But it wasn't a victory gift from coach Jim Schwartz.

It was the opposite.

Schwartz told his players he didn't want to see them until Wednesday after Sunday's 48-3 loss at Baltimore, the Lions' most lopsided loss since 1991, so he could have more time to study the tape. He said he might watch it 10 times.

"We're going to need some time to make sure that this doesn't happen to us again," Schwartz said. "I know there's issues. I know there's injuries. I know there's all those different things and everything else. But we have to make a stand, and this is unacceptable."

Schwartz said he would hold his players accountable -- this week, next year -- including the loss of jobs. The Ravens pushed around the Lions all afternoon and racked up 548 yards of total offense. Running back Ray Rice had 204 yards from scrimmage -- in the first half alone. The Lions offense failed repeatedly in third- and fourth-and-short situations.

Though Schwartz did not come out and say the players quit, he came close. He said would reserve judgment, watch the film and then see if he could "give an affirmation to that assessment." He conspicuously praised running back Kevin Smith for not quitting before he left in the fourth quarter with a significant left knee injury. He said the Lions had fought through adversity before and given better performances.

The most disappointing play of the game, Schwartz said, was the second-to-last one, before the Ravens mercifully took a knee. Facing fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 23, the Ravens handed off to fullback Le'Ron McClain. Defensive lineman Turk McBride had him, then safety Kalvin Pearson, then safety Marvin White. But McClain bullied his way to a 4-yard gain and a first down.

"He wanted it more than we did," Schwartz said, speaking slowly to emphasize those words. "That's what upset me the most."

TRENDING: The Lions had been stopping the run relatively well, holding their last three opponents to 3.3 yards per carry or less. Then they allowed the Ravens 7.7 yards per carry and 308 yards rushing, the sixth-highest yards-allowed total in franchise history. After their best tackling performance of the season last week at Cincinnati, they were right back at their worst.

LINEUP WATCH: Running back Kevin Smith suffered an apparently serious left knee injury in the fourth quarter Sunday. Smith was on crutches with a bulky brace on his left knee in the locker room. He said he would undergo testing in Detroit, but that it didn't "feel real good." Schwartz said the injury looked "significant," his word for long-term.

The injury is another blow to the Lions, who lost tight end Brandon Pettigrew, the No. 20 overall pick this year, to a torn ACL on Thanksgiving against Green Bay. Smith, a third-round pick last year, had just drawn praise from the coaches for playing through shoulder problems and starting to hit his stride.

Player Notes:

  • RB Kevin Smith left in the fourth quarter Sunday at Baltimore with a left knee injury. It appears serious. Smith will undergo testing in Detroit.
  • S Louis Delmas, who already had one sore ankle, twisted his other ankle late in the first half and left the game.
  • LS Don Muhlbach suffered wrist and head injuries while making a tackle in the first quarter. He left the field on a cart.
  • C Dominic Raiola took over as the long snapper. He snapped a ball low in the second quarter, but holder Nick Harris got the ball down and kicker Jason Hanson made a 22-yard field goal.
  • LB Ernie Sims returned from a hamstring injury.
  • S Kalvin Pearson returned from hamstring injury.

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