|Lions safety Louis Delmas didn't practice Wednesday, leaving his status for this weekend's game in doubt. (US Presswire)|
Detroit's coaches and players have downplayed concerns over the team's perceived lack of depth all season, but those concerns took center stage again Wednesday when eight starters missed the portion of drills that were open to media.
Not all of the absent players will miss Sunday's must-win matchup in Jacksonville, but the fact that some can't complete a full practice workload isn't an encouraging sign.
Here's a look at the players who didn't participate in Wednesday's drills that were open to media, and their prospects for Sunday at this point:
RB Mikel Leshoure (personal day): Leshoure missed part of the second half against the Seahawks in Week 8, but Lions' coach Jim Schwartz steadfastly maintained that it wasn't due to an injury. Schwartz reiterated his assertion that Leshoure isn't injured following Wednesday's workout, and told reporters that the second year player was given an excused personal day. Leshoure should be OK for Sunday's game.
S Louis Delmas (knee): Delmas' health is a legitimate concern for a defense that sorely misses him when he's out. He wasn't able to finish Detroit's Week 8 win over the Seahawks after aggravating an existing knee injury. Delmas had tests on the knee Monday, and the fact that he wasn't able to practice Wednesday isn't a good sign.
WR Calvin Johnson (knee): Megatron is clearly hurting, and he admitted following Sunday's win that the injury has made things difficult for him this season. He hasn't missed a game, however, and is among the league leaders in receiving yards, despite a reduced practice workload. There's no reason to believe at this point that Johnson won't be on the field Sunday.
CB Amari Spievey (concussion): Spievey has yet to pass his concussion tests, and the fact that this is his second brain injury in as many years means the team will be watching him very closely. He shouldn't be considered available at this point for Sunday's game.
CB Bill Bentley (shoulder): Bentley's shoulder issues continue to linger, and despite the fact that he's been able to practice sporadically since the injury, he shouldn't be viewed as available until he can resume contact activities. If Bentley can't play Sunday, expect Jonte Green to again get the start in his place.
DE Cliff Avril (back): Avril's absence is likely just scheduled rest as Detroit tries to limit the amount of contact he faces in practice: No reason to worry about him at this point
LB DeAndre Levy (hamstring): Levy missed Detroit's Week 8 win over the Seahawks, and he hasn't practiced since the Saturday before Detroit's Week 7 loss to Chicago. That seems to indicate that the hamstring issue he's facing isn't a minor one, and it's not a good idea to count on him being in the lineup until he's able to resume a consistent practice workload. Ashlee Palmer filled in well in Levy's absence, however, so the Lions' linebacking corps should be able to cope until he can return.
DE Corey Williams (knee): Williams played against the Seahawks, and should do so again Sunday. His absence was likely due to scheduled rest.
Detroit's secondary did get a small health-related boost from the return of CB Jacob Lacey (concussion). Barring any setbacks, he should be available for Sunday's game. CB Drayton Florence (arm, designated to return from IR) also returned to the practice field Wednesday. He won't be available to play until Week 11 against the Packers, however, because of the required waiting period before a designated player can return from IR.
Follow Lions reporter John Kreger on Twitter at @CBSLions and @JohnKreger.