Re-Sign Or Rebuild: Can Don Carey Continue To Be A Great Special Teams Player?

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Don Carey, The Other Special Team Player Nobody Really Knows.


Special Teams has around four to five guys that get noticed. The kicker, punter, long snapper, kick returner, and punt returner. While the long snapper is the least talked about, some people don’t look at the players who do punt and kick return coverage. Those players aren’t given a position on the special teams part of the roster but they are on the field for every one of those possessions.

That is where safety Don Carey is. Carey is a safety on the roster but he is known for being one of the best special team coverage guys in the NFL. He can dictate where the ball carrier will go and can tackle well enough to stop them by himself.

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The Don’s Rule The Special Teams

While long snapper Don Muhlbach is the least talked about player on the team, Carey is probably next up on that list. Carey doesn’t play defense much, as his role is coverage on kick and punt returns. Carey started his career in Jacksonville in 2010 where he started 10 games but would end up getting cut and signed by Detroit and he hasn’t looked back since.

Since coming to Detroit, he has only started a total of 12 games as his role is more known on special teams. His stats aren’t earth-shattering but Carey does have a presence on the field in his seven seasons in Detroit, as he has been able to get 102 total tackles, eight pass deflections, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries (one going for a touchdown).

Re-Sign Or Rebuild Don Carey?

Re-sign. Carey is a well-liked person on the team and in the community of Detroit. While he isn’t creating turnovers left and right, his presence on special teams is none-the-less impressive and helpful for the team. His contract will never be expensive or lengthy, so that isn’t an issue. One thing to note though is that Justin Rogers of The Detroit News reported that Carey might have surgery on his knee this off-season, with Carey saying  “It’s too early to tell, I’ll sit on the couch, let some of the inflammation and swelling go down, and we’ll see what happens.”

If the front office decides to let Carey go, they won’t need to find an all-star replacement as they could just look for a depth safety. Nat Berhe from the New York Giants, Shamarko Thomas from the New York Jets, and Colt Anderson from the Buffalo Bills could all be cheap replacements.

GM Bob Quinn could go in another direction and draft a replacement, some eyes to watch are Damon Webb from Ohio State, Ed Paris from LSU, and Jordan Martin from Syracuse.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.