There is some debate about whether Mississippi State cornerback Darius Slay would have been available to the Detroit Lions at the top of the second round were it not for a torn meniscus in his knee, which probably dropped him on a few draft boards. The Lions are now dealing with what they hope is a limited fallout from the injury.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Slay had arthroscopic surgery last Friday. He won't participate in this weekend's rookie minicamp but the recovery period is expected to be about two weeks. There is every expectation that Slay will be ready for training camp.
Of course, it's only fair to point out that Slay said last month: "I was told I won't have to have surgery." Meanwhile, general manager Martin Mayhew said shortly after the draft that he expected Slay to participate in the rookie minicamp.
Clearly plans clearly changed since then. Did the injury prove worse than anticipated? For the Lions' sake, I hope not. The likeliest explanation is the team decided to clean up a relatively minor injury to provide maximum time for recovery and conditioning before training camp begins. But whenever people say one thing and do another, it's at least fair to start wondering if there is more to the story.
The injury occurred March 7 during Slay's pro day workout. Here's what Mayhew said after the draft:
"We are aware of his physical condition and he's in good physical condition. He visited with us in the last couple weeks and we're on top of that. We are aware that there is a physical issue with his knee. We're aware of that and we're comfortable with that."
Coach Jim Schwartz said: "[W]e didn't draft him as a redshirt. We didn’t draft him as a guy for further on down the road. We think he can get up to speed pretty quickly, both physically and mentally and help us on the field this year."