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Louis Delmas of Detroit Lions has knee surgery

The Detroit Lions aren't a team that can afford to lose key players in the secondary, but safety Louis Delmas was a no-show at practice Monday after undergoing an operation on his left knee.

"Louis Delmas had a surgical procedure done yesterday by Dr. James Andrews to assist in his recovery from knee soreness that developed early in camp," Lions vice president of communications Bill Keenist said Wednesday in a statement on the Lions' official website.

The Lions haven't released a timetable for Delmas' return to the field.

The three-year veteran injured his right knee against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving and underwent surgery before Detroit's Week 15 game against the Oakland Raiders. Delmas returned for the playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints, but in his absence, the Lions gave up a troubling 337 yards per game through the air.

Delmas alone can't save this secondary, but without him -- and in a division that includes Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler -- there could be trouble brewing.

The Lions' early schedule includes the St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings, not exactly the NFL's most dangerous passing attacks. But this isn't about the first four weeks of the season. It's about the expectations facing the Lions as a young, playoff-ready team. To win in this league, you need to stop the pass.

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