Lions bench Young for Thanksgiving game

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Three weeks after having a career-best performance, enigmatic receiver Titus Young is back in the Detroit Lions’ doghouse.

Coach Jim Schwartz announced Monday that Young will be inactive for Thursday’s game against Houston.

Young also was benched for the final possession of Sunday’s 24-20 loss to Green Bay.

“His behavior’s going to have to change,” Schwartz said. “This is a team sport, it’s not an individual sport. Eventually, there’s no more opportunities to get it right.”

It’s not the first time the Lions have had to discipline Young, a second-round draft pick in 2011. Young was also told to stay away from the practice facility for a while during offseason workouts after sucker-punching teammate Louis Delmas.

Young appeared to be on the right track when he caught nine passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over Seattle on Oct. 28. But his immaturity problems returned.

Schwartz wouldn’t be specific about exactly what Young did wrong.

“When you play a game like football, it’s a team sport,” Schwartz said. “Players have obligations to the team.

“Titus hasn’t done a very good job of fulfilling those obligations this week and recently.”

Schwartz said he wasn’t officially classifying it as a suspension at this point; however, Young was sent home and didn’t practice.

Schwartz said he didn’t expect Young, who wasn’t available for comment, to practice Tuesday, either.

“How we go in the future is going to depend on Titus and his behavior,” Schwartz said. “I think in spots we have seen progress, but in this case, it’s disappointing. I thought we were past this but obviously we’re not.”

Schwartz confirmed that a false-start penalty on offensive tackle Gosder Cherlius occurred largely because Young didn’t line up in the right position on the play.

“That was one of the issues,” Schwartz admitted. “Titus was lined up in the wrong spot in that case and it caused a lot of confusion.”

But the situation, obviously, is much bigger than one misalignment.

Until Young figures out the right and wrong way to act in a NFL environment, his future is going to be in question.


Schwartz also addressed the heated verbal exchange on the sideline Sunday between receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

The dispute reportedly involved Young, but Schwartz wouldn’t confirm that aspect of the incident.

Schwartz said run-ins between coaches aren’t uncommon in an emotional sport like football, but that they’re usually handled differently, quite often over the headsets.

“In this case, it was done very publicly,” Schwartz said. “That’s regrettable.

“Those guys are fine. There’s no issues. The thing about it is they were both on the same side of the argument, but in the heat of the moment, they ended up missing that fact.”


Cornerback Drayton Florence woke up with a headache Monday morning and was diagnosed with a concussion.

He played in 43 of the 62 defensive snaps.

“He left early in the game,” Schwartz said. “The official removed him from the game. Our guys (doctors) checked him. He passed all the (concussion) tests on the sideline. He returned to play, played pretty well.

“Didn’t have any signs as we went forward, didn’t seek any treatment, wasn’t having any symptoms after the game.

“This morning, he woke up with a headache. Our guys diagnosed him with a concussion.”

… Offensive tackle Jeff Backus, who has played in 186 consecutive games in his career, could have his streak come to an end.

Backus left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

“It’s probably going to be doubtful that he’ll be able to play on a short week like this,” Schwartz said.