DETROIT -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Detroit Lions training camp:
The biggest news Wednesday was tight end Eric Ebron, the team's first round draft pick, sitting out practice due to an undisclosed injury. Lions coach Jim Caldwell would not indicate whether Ebron will miss Saturday night's preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns, but he did say Ebron will be out a day or two. That would not seem to bode well for the rookie's status for Saturday. While it sounds like the injury is a minor one, Ebron can't afford to miss much practice time considering the complexities of learning his particular role in the offense. It won't affect his playing time once games start counting, though. This comes just as Ebron had indicated things were starting to slow down for him a little bit.
He wasn't the only player to miss practice. Linebacker Cory Greenwood was excused from Wednesday's practice for an undisclosed reason and offensive lineman Darren Keyton left practice with an injury. Ezekiel Anash is still on the active physically unable to perform list, but was stretching with the Lions, so he appears to be inching closer to a return. When asked about how close he was to coming back after practice, Ansah declined to answer.
The defense definitely won the practice Wednesday night, intercepting at least three passes throughout the scrimmage -- including an impressive Cassius Vaughn pick toward the end of practice at the goal-line of a Dan Orlovsky pass intended for Jeremy Ross. The Lions defense was particularly effective against Orlovsky, who also threw an interception to Isa Abdul-Quddus after being pressured by rookie Jerome Couplin.
The kicking competition remained fairly close. Rookie Nate Freese made all five of his attempts Wednesday night while Giorgio Tavecchio made 4-of-5, with his 47-yard attempt hitting the right upright and bouncing off. It was Tavecchio's first definitive miss since the first day of camp. There were a couple of kicks both he and Freese had during camp that have been questionable whether they were good.
There seemed to be more hitting than other practices on Wednesday night, including Tahir Whitehead nailing Theo Riddick pretty hard in a 7-on-7 drill. The next play, linebacker Julian Stanford knocked Ross to the ground. There was also almost the first scuffle of training camp between Joseph Fauria and Chris Greenwood, but they both walked away after a couple of seconds. This is typically a sign a team is ready to play their first game.
Rob Sims once again did not participate fully in team drills, but said after practice it is just to save his body for the season. The Lions have been doing this somewhat with both Sims and center Dominic Raiola throughout camp. In Sims' place at left guard Wednesday was Rodney Austin, who is competing with Travis Swanson, Garrett Reynolds, Keyton and Alex Bullard for reserve interior linemen spots. Sims said despite the lack of snaps, he'll be ready for the season.
The Lions return to practice Thursday at 2 p.m. in Allen Park, Michigan, for their last public practice of the week.