A hamstring strain sustained this summer will keep
"I think he'll be back soon ... and that means sooner than the opener," Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press.
Ngata, who is on the non-football injury list, hooked up with Detroit after nine seasons with Baltimore.
"[Levy's] a heck of a football player, just a playmaker on our defense," Mayhew said before training camp Tuesday. "Versus the run and the pass, the guy's an impact player, so we definitely want to keep him on our defense — very important to our football team. His leadership is also excellent, professional in every sense of the word, so he has a lot of value to us. And he's one of our own guys, so we want to definitely keep him around."
Ngata is entering his first season with the Lions after being traded from Baltimore in March.
"He's a phenomenal player," Mayhew said. "He can be an impact player for us as well along the defensive line. I don't really need to see a whole lot more. … I've seen enough to know that I want to have him around."
Ngata, who was traded to Detroit by the Ravens in the offseason, can come off the list at any time. The team said they expected Ngata to return to action in about a week.
Ngata admitted that he suspected a deal could take place.
"The closer we got to free agency, I thought it could be a possibility," he told Monday Morning Quarterback. "It didn't surprise me ... since we weren't getting closer to any kind of contract stuff, I just figured there were a lot of things that could happen. I definitely started to have a trade in my mind as a possibility."
Ngata added that he's not thinking about a contract extension with Detroit.
"I'm just trying to get to know my teammates, get my playbook down, and my technique and terminology," he said.
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