Detroit Lions' Matt Patricia ditches knee scooter for crutches — temporarily
Matt Patricia ditched his knee scooter for crutches over the weekend as he continues his rehab from offseason Achilles surgery.
Patricia was back on his scooter at his news conference Monday, and his ATV at practice, but the second-year Detroit Lions coach said he was able to take a lap around the hallway of the team's Allen Park practice facility as he works to regain the mobility necessary to coach from the sideline in games.
"Not to get into a big discussion about my injury here, but I did walk with crutches yesterday, so that was good," Patricia said. "We’re very slowly day-by-day here right now."
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Patricia has spent the first three weeks of the preseason coaching in-game from an elevated perch behind the Lions bench, where he stands on a stack of soft plyometric boxes and is supported by a table of Gatorade coolers between the Lions' offensive and defensive benches.
Patricia said he prefers that spot to being upstairs in the coaches box so he can have more direct communication with players and stay directly involved with everything happening on the field.
NFL rules prohibit coaches and players with limited mobility, including those "on crutches (and) wearing casts," from "standing too close to the on-field action," and Patricia's situation has forced the Lions to adjust in other ways.
They bought an ATV early in training camp to help him make his way across the field, and Kevin Anderson, Patricia's chief of staff, has been tasked with responsibilities like throwing challenge flags and calling timeouts, at Patricia's behest.
The Lions open the regular season in less than two weeks, Sept. 8 against the Arizona Cardinals, and it's unclear how long Patricia will have to remain in his coaching perch.
"Honestly, it’s a safety thing for me and for the players," Patricia said. "That’s really just my biggest concern. I got to do my own rehab. But in the end, for the game itself, we’ll just gauge that when we get to it."
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