Lions looking healthier after open date

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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Best showed promise as a rookie in 2010 and started six games last season, but he hasn't played since a loss to San Francisco nearly a year ago.

"He's in better shape now than when he was a rookie. He's physically stronger. He's smarter in our schemes, done a really good job being at meetings and those kind of things," Schwartz said. "This isn't a guy that's been on vacation for the last couple months. This guy's worked extremely hard. But we try not to get ahead of ourselves. He's doing what he can. When he gets clearance he'll be back."

The secondary has been hit hard by injuries. Chris Houston missed two games because of a sprained left ankle, and rookie Bill Bentley missed one because of a concussion. They're back now.

Avril, who was sidelined in the second half against the Vikings, was one of several players who missed some practice time last week — with no game to prepare for. Now he's ready to chase Michael Vick and the Eagles around on Sunday.

"Feeling good," Avril said. "I practiced, feeling good and ready to get rolling."