Free agent LB DeAndre Levy tells Michael Rothstein of ESPN that he’s filing an injury grievance against the Lions, as he’s still yet to recover from the knee injury he suffered in the first game of the 2016 season.
Levy wound up undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, but still played in the team’s final five games of the season and the playoffs.
Detroit later cut him loose, despite clearing him medically the day before.
“I figured there was something wrong because they passed me on a physical when I couldn’t even sit down to a chair or get into a linebacker stance at the time,” Levy said. “In my mind, I didn’t think about the legal contract part of it. I thought, this is f—– up, like I can’t get into position, how can I pass a physical. I didn’t know it was a physical the first time.
“I went in for just a follow-up for my knee, we go through the exam or whatever and I see he puts pass on it for the physical. I’m like, ‘OK, this ain’t right.’ So I called my agent and I’m just now learning about the process of whatever.”
Levy believes his issues could have been avoided had the team not told him he would be fine playing during the final games of the season. In fact, Levy says he could likely sit out the entire 2017 season.
“Just kind of, it’s frustrating, man, because the way I was trending, I just hit a wall and it’s like, I feel like it could have been avoided last year,” Levy said. “I feel like it could have been avoided if I was shut down earlier. The cartilage is wearing because my knee was jacked up. Like the cartilage is pretty much gone now because I’m out there and you’re telling me I’m not going to make it worse, it’s just a psychological injury and now I’m here, maybe missing another season because of it. And it’s frustrating, man. I was there for a decade and I never complained about any of my injuries.
“I’ve played through a ton of stuff that, the injury report probably tells half the story. I’m battling every day, like I put in a lot of time, a lot of hours for nearly a decade and then you cut me and tell me I’m not hurt. And now I have to go through a legal process to prove that I was injured. It’s insulting, man. It kind of left a sour taste in my mouth.”
Levy, 29, is a former third-round pick of the Lions back in 2009. He was in the third year of his five-year, $37.2 million contract that included $20 million guaranteed when he was designated as a post-June 1 release by the Lions at the start of free agency.
In 2016, Levy appeared in five games for the Lions and recorded 21 tackles, no sacks or interceptions and one pass defense.
We have him featured in our Top 50 Available Free Agents list.