There are health concerns with two of the players the Lions may consider with the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft.
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who has been diagnosed with stenosis in his back, has decided not to work out at the NFL Combine this week. Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner will do everything except bench press, but has said he will need surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
So put yourself in coach Jim Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew's shoes. You have had nothing but bad luck with players with injury and-or character issues the last few drafts — Jahvid Best, Ryan Broyles, Titus Young, Jason Fox, Amari Spievey.
Are you more wary? Do you back off those two players figuring you can't take another chance?
The answers are — you always are wary, and no, you don't automatically back off.
"Injuries are part of the landscape in the NFL," Schwartz said Thursday. "If you think because a guy hasn't been injured before that he's going to be injury-free, you are probably making a mistake.
"Also, if you discount a player because of injury you will miss out on a lot of good players."
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, as a case in point, never was injured in college but missed most of his first two seasons in the NFL. He's been healthy since, missing only the overtime period against Tennessee the last two seasons.
Conversely, Fox, who had surgery after his senior season at Miami and missed most of his first two years, is by all accounts healthy and ready to compete for a starting job this season.
"The biggest thing with injuries is identifying things that are chronic and things that aren't going to get better," Schwartz said. "It's all part of the evaluation process. That's why we say the medical thing is the No.1 reason why we are here (at the Combine)."
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130221/SPORTS0101/302210471#ixzz2LdwbOHMG
Injuries to two potential draft targets won't scare Lions
Detroit News | Feb 22