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Posted: Aug. 31, 2010

Boiman picked up as insurance policy at middle linebacker

BY DAVE BIRKETT
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Rocky Boiman had a good enough workout for the Lions before the start of training camp that he thought he might earn a free-agent contract. A month later, he finally did.


With starting middle linebacker DeAndre Levy battling a groin injury that could sideline him for the start of the regular season and backup Jordon Dizon out for the year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Lions signed Boiman as a veteran insurance policy Monday.

Boiman is well versed in the Lions' defense, having played four seasons under Lions coach Jim Schwartz in Tennessee and another for defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham in Kansas City.

He played six games with the Steelers last year.

"It's been a little while since I've played so it's going to take a little bit to get back," Boiman said. "My job between now and Thursday is use every waking moment I've got to try to get back up to speed. I'm not going to get everything by Thursday. Then it's just taking what I know, taking my experience of eight years and flying around."

Schwartz said Boiman should play in Thursday's exhibition finale against the Bills. Along with middle linebacker, he'll also work at outside linebacker and on special teams.

Vinny Ciurciu and Isaiah Ekejiuba are the only other healthy middle linebackers.

Injury report: Starting safeties Louis Delmas and C.C. Brown did not practice Monday, and both could be held out against the Bills.

Schwartz said Brown, who continues to wear a brace on his right forearm, should be fine for the regular-season opener against the Bears on Sept. 12. Delmas said his sore groin was fine after playing for the first time this preseason Saturday against the Browns.

"I think he'll be able to play in this game," Schwartz said of Delmas. "Whether or not he plays may not be (a reflection) of whether he's able to play."

Safety Ko Simpson (knee) also sat out practice Monday, while defensive end Lawrence Jackson (hamstring) took part in just his second workout since he was traded from the Seahawks on Aug. 18.

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Schwartz said kicker Jason Hanson was pain-free after kicking before Saturday's game against the Browns. Barring any setbacks, Hanson will make his preseason debut against the Bills.


Schwartz on Suh: Schwartz said he sat down with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to talk about how the NFL protects its quarterbacks in light of Suh's personal-foul face-mask penalty Saturday on Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme.

He also pointed out that Suh wasn't the only one penalized for illegally hitting a quarterback. Browns linebacker David Veikune drew a roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter for diving at backup Shaun Hill's legs.

"Is that one that needs to be suspended?" Schwartz said, shrugging his shoulders.

"I saw (Suh's hit). I mean, he's out there -- you guys go try to make a sack. You got 350-pound guys trying to keep you from getting a sack and quarterback's running away. He didn't try to grab a guy's face mask, he happened to grab it and then he just didn't do a good job of pulling off after that."

Briefly: The Lions waived injured tight end Jake Nordin and released three other players: linebacker Lee Campbell, receiver Eric Fowler and defensive end Chima Ihekwoaba. Detroit has to make two more moves to get to the 75-player limit by today.

Contact DAVE BIRKETT: 313-222-8831 or dbirkett@freepress.com. Read more in his Lions blog at freep.com/lionsblog. Sports writer Carlos Monarrez contributed to this report.

Rocky Boiman

Rocky Boiman

A version of this story appears on page 5B of the Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010, print edition of the Detroit Free Press.

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