Teddy Lehman – Kevin Jones: Brothers in Blood, Toil, Sweat and Tears 


2004 – In the first round and with their second overall pick, the Lions draft Kevin Jones.  The next player they take is Teddy Lehman. 


Lehman: In 2004, Teddy Lehman was the only rookie linebacker in the NFL to start all 16 games.  He had a total of 1,225 plays, more than any other member of the Lions. The man was an iron horse. His future with the Lions looks unlimited. 


Jones: In 2004 Kevin Jones finished the season as the Lions’ leading rusher. With 1,133 yards he became the third running back in Lions history to rush for over 1,100 yards in a single season. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry. He was awarded the Bobby Layne Offensive MVP and Mel Farr Rookie of the Year and named an alternate to the Pro Bowl. His future with the Lions looks unlimited. 


Lehman: Seven games into the 2005 season, on October 30 playing against Chicago, Teddy Lehman suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. Unfortunately it was originally believed to be ‘just’ an ankle sprain, so Lehman tried to rehabilitate his ‘sprain’ and return to play.  For 3 weeks he pushed it. He tried to run. He tried to practice. Finally he gave up and saw a surgeon who found the problem in late November. It would be over a year before he was healthy enough to play. Unfortunately the word was ‘healthy’, not ‘ready’. Teddy Lehman missed too much conditioning and too much practice. He tried to comeback midway through the 2006 season. He played four games before he pulled a hamstring and was placed on injured reserve – again. 


Jones: In 2005 he led the Lions in rushing. In 2006 he finishes the season with 61 receptions for 520 yards, tied for fourth in the NFL among running backs – despite playing just 12 games. Kevin Jones missed the Lions Thanksgiving Day game with an ankle injury. After playing two more games he was diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury and underwent surgery December 14. 


(The timing of KJ’s Lisfranc is suspicious. While it is unlikely Jones initial ankle injury was a Lisfranc, it must have been a harbinger of the serious injury to come. ) 


Lehman: May 2007 – Teddy Lehman is the number 2 linebacker for the Lions, but he is training hard. He is playing hard. He has very quick reads, he gets in position quickly, and he reacts/adjusts to the play quickly. It’s nice for the Lions to have Paris Lenon and Teddy Lehman fighting for the number 1 Linebacker spot. (Though it is probably not that nice for Paris Lenon.) It is early, but Lehman looks to be returning to his glory. 


Jones: May 2007 KJ is early in his rehabilitation. His pins are out. He is jogging, if not very well. He is doing his rehab. KJ has hopes to get back to the Lions this year. The Lions are in no particular hurry. With TJ Duckett running like a stallion and Tatum Bell chomping at the bit, The Lions have the luxury of patience. 


Kevin Jones and Teddy Lehman have to talk. KJ has to be looking to Lehman for guidance, both physically and emotionally. These two players who were drafted with such high expectations, and who both played with such excellence their rookie seasons, both sidelined with the same serious injury. Now both are working their way back. Teddy is almost there. Kevin has a longer road. Brothers in football.