Delmas recently told ESPN Radio that his knee, creaky for the last two consecutive seasons, was now close to 88 or 90 percent after missing another mini-camp to start this year.
"I still got a long road ahead of me. I plan on going through camp, trying to build my knee up as much as possible so I can go into the season 100 percent." Delmas said.
Though it certainly sounds like progress is being made, that's still not good enough. After Delmas signed an extension this offseason when many thought it was unwarranted, fans are sick of seeing him on the sidelines wearing t-shirts and shorts while hearing about how close he is to feeling good. This season, it's time to put up, stay healthy and shut up.
The Lions' defense needs Delmas to be greatly successful. When he's in, healthy and playing well, the positive results have spoken for themselves. In 2011, the Lions' defense looked borderline elite when Delmas was participating. Without him, Detroit quickly fell apart, lacking a heartbeat, big hitter or play maker over the middle of the field.
This season, though the team signed big name free agent Glover Quin and recently signed quality veteran safety Chris Hope, Delmas should still be considered the most important wild card to monitor. His extended knowledge of Gunther Cunningham's system is vital for communication and consistency in a year which will bring plenty of change across the line and within the rest of the backfield.
Delmas's play has been made poorer lately by his rust and overall lack of health. By the time July rolls around, the best news regarding Detroit's safety will be seeing him back on the field participating and getting back into game shape. More talk about percentages and closeness to returning cannot be viewed as positive news.
In Delmas's case, actions now must speak louder than words.
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