LONDON, England -- The Detroit Lions think team morale is fine despite the firing of three coaches on Monday.
"It's actually awesome," cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "The mood is very good. It's must-win for us. We know that, so that hasn't changed. But I think the foundation that has been laid is steady. It's not on slippery ground, and it's not always like that. It's rarely like that, and that's impressive.
"It's a sense of urgency for sure, but I still don't think it's panic. It's just that we have to start playing better, and that's just point blank simple."
The Lions are 1-6, and a myriad of problems have led to the treacherous start. Even though the team will face more adversity this week due to the coaching changes, head coach Jim Caldwell doesn't expect the players to be overwhelmed.
"In our particular sport and endeavor because of the media attention and things of that nature, you're tested on a daily basis," Caldwell said. "Even when things are going well, there can be issues that you have to deal with. So I think your character, your integrity, I think is always in question. I do think we have the right kind of people. I do think that these guys have demonstrated the ability to hang in there.
"You haven't seen them pointing fingers or anything of that nature, but they've certainly been able to battle along and continue to do the things we need to do in order to move forward."
--After giving up seven sacks and 13 quarterback hits Sunday, the Lions know they have to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford better Sunday, especially with Kansas City pass rushers like Justin Houston and Tamba Hali on the field.
Said Caldwell, "Definitely. I think that's our main concern. That's our main purpose on the field, especially for our offensive line this week."
--Lions tight end Eric Ebron is flying his mother to London for the game.
"She's not really excited," he said. "She told me to save that amount of money I spent to get her out here, but she's never been out here so it was worth it."
Notes: Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (not injury related) missed practice to rest Wednesday. ... Quarterback Matthew Stafford (quad) was a full participant despite the new injury. ... Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (knee) missed practice Wednesday. ... Punter Sam Martin (left knee) was limited and has been dealing with the injury for weeks. ... Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (elbow) returned to practice, but was limited and wearing a big brace on his left arm. ... Linebacker Stephen Tulloch (illness) was limited Wednesday. ... Linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip) remains out and cornerback Alex Carter (ankle) has not returned to practice despite being eligible the past two weeks, though he can't play until Week 10.