Can the Detroit Lions reverse last year's injury trend?
There is no foolproof way to compare injuries among NFL teams, but there is no doubting this statistic: The Lions finished last season with 17 players on injured reserve. And based on the method devised by Football Outsiders, the Lions were the fifth-most injured team in the league last season.
Some of that already has spilled into the offseason, where quarterback Matthew Stafford (knee, shoulder), tight end Brandon Pettigrew (knee) and running back Kevin Smith (knee, shoulder) were among those who were limited in early workouts. New tight end Tony Scheffler, meanwhile, has been limited by an irritated foot since his arrival from Denver.
Offseason health limitations are normal for most NFL teams, and the goal is to have everyone healthy by September rather than May. But I would imagine Detroit will be particularly sensitive to the issue this season after a personnel bonanza boosted their talent level at a number of positions.
The Lions have a chance to make a significant jump in competitiveness in 2010. But they'll need all of their key players on the field all season to do it.