Finally healthy, Jason Fox is starting to show promise

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is right when he says it’s not always about ability, but rather availability.

Offensive tackle Jason Fox has been the poster boy for that cliché his first two seasons in the league. It’s no secret that Fox has been injured for most of his career with the Lions. It's been hard to truly evaluate Fox over the last two years because of all the injuries. When he’s been healthy – like right now -- he's played well.

Fox had a mild scare in June when soreness developed in his knee and he missed the team’s minicamp, but he hasn’t missed any training camp practices so far and the Lions are hopeful he’ll begin to fulfill some of the promise they had in him when they selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Fox missed Miami's Bowl game in 2010 so he could have surgery on a left knee that had been bothering him his senior year. The knee was never 100-percent in training camp that rookie season. He then broke a foot early in training camp last year and developed problems in his other knee.

Besides a few bumps and bruises that all players feel around this time, this is the first training camp Fox has been healthy. He’s been getting reps on both the left and right sides and split first-team reps with Jeff Backus at left tackle during a team period in Monday’s practice.

“He’s looked like we thought he would look,” Schwartz said of Fox after Monday's practice. “He’s been very consistent through camp; he’s playing right tackle, he’s playing left tackle. You know, he can get some snaps in at guard but he’s answered the bell every practice and that’s been a big thing for him.”

Fox’s emergence early in training camp has allowed the Lions a lot of versatility with the way they use their tackles. Fox, rookie Riley Reifficon-article-link and veteran Corey Hilliardicon-article-link have been alternating between both right and left tackle during training camp. The ability to be able to plug players into multiple positions along the line will only help the Lions in the long run.

“Obviously if you’re taking first-team reps there’s pressure to perform, but you don’t really look at it as pressure,” Fox said. “You just want to go out there and play football and improve every day and master your craft and become as technically sound as possible.”

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus