So the Lions head to Greenville to play the Force - again - on Saturday, and they do so still nursing injuries suffered when the teams met two weeks ago. It's even led Lions coach Jason Gibson to hold some mid-season open tryouts on May 23.
Columbus lost defensive linemen Mike Berry (signed with UFL's Omaha Nighthawks), Cedric Lloyd (signed with CFL's Montreal Allouettes) and Elbert Shumake (ACL injury).
On top of that, they cut DB Barry Tate so he could go after a starting spot with the Reading Express and fullback Melvin Parris is out with some broken ribs.
The Lions signed DL Shawn Morgan (NFL Europe, af2 experience), but they're still in a bit of a jam.
Here's the skinny on the open tryouts:
Where: Columbus Civic Center
Cost: $50 cash or money order
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Field: On turf
Dress: Shorts or sweats; T-shirts and drinks will be provided
From the Lions site:
| Participants will be evaluated in the 40-yard dash, the 20-yard short shuttle, and a variety of team and individual drills by position. The tryout is for all positions. |
Gibson said he may not sign anyone from it, but at the very least he is putting together a list of guys to call on short notice when there are holes to fill (like this week on the D-line). Gibson said he isn't currently carrying the full 23 roster spots, so if he see someone he thinks can help, he may offer them a spot.
If nothing else, Gibson said, he will have a list of people to call back for tryouts before next season.
Every few months I get an e-mail from someone asking me how they can get on the Lions. Here's your chance.
Gibson on QB Chris McCoy , who is still starting as Todd Spitzer is recovering from an MCL injury suffered more than a month ago.
"Chris is getting more playing time, he's getting more confident and he's in shape. He's taken a couple of hits where I said, "Wow," and he got right back up. He's playing great right now."