Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy is playing the best football of his life this season, and he’s definitely making good on the three-year deal that the Lions gave him in the offseason. I was critical of Levy’s performance last year and also critical of the Lions decision to keep him over Justin Durant, but it’s safe to say that both the Lions and Levy have proven me wrong. With six interceptions, Levy could become the first linebacker to lead the league in INTs, but he’ll have to separate himself from the tie. Still, he’s been incredible in coverage this year with 13 passes defended to add to those six picks, and he already has 103 tackles in total (his career high of 109 came in 2011).
However, Levy is questionable for tomorrow’s game against the New York Giants due to a foot injury, and the fact that he hasn’t been able to practice this league has led to some concern regarding his availability to play tomorrow. Don’t count defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham has among the concerned, though, “If I’m a betting man, then I know who’s playing. Levy will play no matter what. He is a tough guy and is preparing himself. It is too bad he couldn’t get more practice reps, but he will be ready.”
There are certain players who can play without practice, and Levy is definitely one of them. Although the Lions can beat the Giants without both Levy and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (already ruled out), every game is too important at this stage for the Lions to afford Levy’s absence. Hopefully he’s able to play tomorrow, especially since Giants running back Andre Brown is quite good.
According to MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke, veteran backup Rocky McIntosh has been starting for Levy at practice this week, so McIntosh would be the next-man-up if Levy is a no-go. Cunningham praised McIntosh, but it’s clear that there’s a significant drop-off between Levy and McIntosh.