The headlines from the Detroit Lions' first football-specific player workout Monday were all about quarterback Matthew Stafford. He was "breaking hands" with the velocity of his throws, tweets Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, and was "much thicker through the chest" after 10 weeks of upper-body workouts, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
My perspective: He better be.
Stafford has been throwing for weeks as part of his shoulder rehabilitation and has declared himself healed a number of times via Twitter. I would have been surprised if he looked anything other than strong Monday.
It was encouraging news, but no more encouraging than what has otherwise been a secondary headline: Right tackle Gosder Cherilus was also among those participating in Monday's workout. Cherilus missed the final four games of 2010 because of a knee injury that required microfracture surgery, a serious procedure that can lead to an unpredictable recovery time. In February, Lions coach Jim Schwartz noted Cherilus' progress had been set back by the injury.
No members of the Lions' medical staff could be present for Monday's workout, so we can't know for sure how far along Cherilus is. But if the knee were still troubling him, Cherilus would be a fool to participate in football drills during the lockout, when players are unprotected by NFL injury benefits.
The Lions liked what they saw from replacement Corey Hilliard last season, but it's fair to say the Lions are better off with Cherilus in the mix. Cherilus didn't break any hands Monday, but his participation was nonetheless encouraging.