So it appears that Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas wants to play in Thursday's preseason game against the New England Patriots.
Part of me wants to see just that and find out exactly where Delmas is after nearly eight months of dramatically reduced work designed to protect his sore left knee. The other part, of course, wonders why the Lions would risk any sort of setback in a maintenance plan that is heavy-handed enough to sideline him for most of the past 10 days. By Monday, the Lions deemed Delmas worthy of participating in about half of practice, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
At some point, it would be nice to know whether the Lions are going to have Delmas' full-time services this season. Successful participation in a preseason game would be a good indicator. But if Delmas needed 10 days away just to participate in a portion of practice on the 11th, then playing him in a live game three days later would seem to be aggressive at the very least.
Before the 10-day layoff, Delmas said he hadn't felt better in two years. On the one hand, if there is going to be a game-day setback, it might be better to get it out of the way now so the Lions can make their regular-season plans accordingly. On the other hand, if there is real hope that Delmas can make regular-season contributions as long as the pounding on his knee is managed, then it makes little sense to take any risks before then.
That's a roundabout way of saying that there are no easy answers in this unique situation. But based on how the Lions have approached his workload thus far, it would be a surprise to see him play Thursday night.