Hanson "Back Kicking" According to Schwartz

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lost amid the buzz of annointing Matthew Stafford as his starting quarterback, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had other news to deliver.

Veteran placekicker Jason Hanson, who missed the bulk of the preseason after undergoing minor knee surgery, has returned to practice. Hanson was replaced by Swayze Waters and Billy Cundiff in Detroit's efforts to, at the least, simulate some kind of kicking game.

“He’s back kicking – I don’t want to put a percentage (on it). He’s not 100-percent right now, but he’s taking it slow on purpose; he hasn’t really opened it up yet," admitted Schwartz. "Later this week, we’re going to get some kickoffs from him and then see how he responds to those and then (see) how he’s able to bounce back without getting sore.

"Then we’ll make a decision of where we need to go kickoff-wise. I would be surprised if he wasn’t able to do field goals this week. Kickoffs are really the next hurdle that we have to get over."

Hanson is day-to-day, but will likely play in the season opener against New Orleans.