Calais Campbell Hits Lions Hard

Calais Campbell popped off the grass late in the fourth quarter as Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford laid 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and jumped right into a batting stance.

His home run swing was as picture perfect as a 6-foot-8, 300-pound defensive end can get wearing shoulder pads and a helmet. The imaginary home run, however, may not have landed yet.

Now imagine if Campbell was 100 percent healthy.

Campbell played his best all-around game since Week 2 at New England despite still dealing with the lingering effects of a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He wasn’t in pain while he recorded eight tackles, four for losses, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection, but his calf wasn’t completely healed either.

“I think I was able to make all the plays I couldn’t make last week because I had pain in my calf and I had to play little more in control,” said Campbell, who had eight tackles last week at Seattle. “(On Sunday) I was able to dive and get off balls and fly around and make plays. It felt good.

“(But) I didn’t have the explosion I wish I had but I had a lot more than I’ve had since I got hurt.”

Campbell felt like he was going to explode when he was forced to watch from the sidelines against Atlanta, St. Louis and New York. The frustration of not playing pain free for the last month boiled over against Detroit.

“When I got a chance to get back I was giving everything I got,” Campbell said. “When you miss it, you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone really.”
Campbell had to pick up some of the slack left by Dan Williams’ large void. Williams missed the game with a hamstring injury but Campbell made up for the nose tackle’s absence by recording his first full sack since October.

“It’s nice to see Calais back in to play and making those kinds of things happen,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s something that we’ve missed.”

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