After a few weeks of deliberation, the Lions have decided to place linebacker DeAndre Levy on the injured reserve list, ending his 2015 season, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (via Twitter). With the newly-opened roster spot, the club officially signed linebacker James-Michael Johnson, whose deal was reported yesterday.
Levy, 28, made his season debut in a Week 5 blowout loss to the Cardinals, but aggravated the hip injury that had kept him sidelined for the first several weeks of the season. Although he said after the game that he didn’t think this injury was as bad as the strained muscle he suffered in August, he underwent surgery on the hip, and the Lions ultimately made the decision to shut him down for the year.
In 2014, Levy established a new career high in tackles, racking up 155 stops to go along with 2.5 sacks, five passes defended, and an interception. So it didn’t come as a surprise that the team signed him to a four-year, $33MM contract extension in August that, at the time, made the former third-round pick the highest-paid 4-3 outside linebacker in the league.
The timing of the extension was good for Levy, whose stock would’ve dipped this winter if he became a free agent coming off his troublesome hip issue. As is, he’ll return to Detroit next season ready to play the first year of his new four-year deal, which keeps him under team control through 2019.