ALLEN PARK, Mich. - Detroit Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis was diagnosed with a concussion more than a week after suffering the brain injury. The team tested Mathis for a concussion in Week 7 and said he didn't have one. Then, he was listed on the injury report in London the following week with an illness and later missed the game. In a rare media address, head trainer Kevin Bastin explained why Mathis was still out of practice this week.
"Our game against the Vikings, he had an episode where he got hit late in the game," Bastin said Wednesday. "We took him inside with our team physician and the unaffiliated neuro-specialist on the sideline, and he was examined, taken through all the testing process and it was determined that he did not have a concussion. He came in the next day for our typical day here on Monday, still no symptoms, completely clear.
"We traveled to London (Monday night). He woke up Thursday morning with a light headache, as he described it, and those were his only symptoms. He practiced light on Thursday and Friday and then woke up Sunday morning with those headaches again. So, we determined to keep him out of the game, and then when we got back here last week, he still had light headaches. We had him evaluated again by our team doctors and then the independent neurologist, and we decided to put him in the concussion protocol. So that's going to be the process with Rashean this week."
--Even with a bye last week to prepare, the Lions don't expect the offense to change significantly under coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who replaced Joe Lombardi before Week 8.
"I'm not sure the common fan will understand it or see it," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "There's some intricacies in the game of football and (Cooter) has some ways of thinking about offenses obviously different than Joe. And everybody has their own different way of thinking about offense, so he has that.
"If you study this extremely hard in your bye week, maybe some new route concepts or things of that nature, but other than that I think it'll be tough for the common fan to sit there and decipher what the differences are."
--Running back Ameer Abdullah played just five snaps in Week 8 and had one carry, but still has confidence he can be a key contributor in the second half of the season.
"At the end of the day, I know I'm one of the better playmakers on this team, so I've just got to do a better job of staying on the field and making sure I'm helping my team," he said. "Because when I'm not on the field, I'm not helping out and they need playmakers on the field. And I am a playmaker, so ... I've got to do a better job of being a reliable option in all areas so I can help out this team and be a playmaker."
Abdullah led the Lions with 63 carries and 225 rushing yards in the first half of his rookie season, but after having four fumbles, including kickoff returns, his role was reduced the past few games.
"I got eight more games, so hopefully it's a better eight."