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Lions expect DeAndre Levy to return to form in 2016

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 05: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills looks to avoid the tackle by DeAndre Levy #54 of the Detroit Lions in the first quarter at Ford Field on October 05, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

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The Lions signed linebacker DeAndre Levy to a four-year contract extension before the 2015 season, but a hip injury kept Levy from making good on the investment on the field.

Levy missed the first four games of the season and then aggravated the injury in his return to the lineup, which led to surgery and an eventual trip to injured reserve. The Lions missed Levy, who had 270 tackles and seven interceptions over the previous two seasons, and they’re not sure if he’ll be ready to go for the start of offseason workouts, but coach Jim Caldwell is confident that the Levy of old will be on the field come next season.

“I’m fully expecting him to be able to do the things he’s always done for us,” Caldwell said, via the Detroit News. “Make plenty of tackles, be able to cover guys in terms of pass routes out of the backfield and certainly give us some help in terms of rushing capacity, blitzing once in a while. I expect him to be the same active guy he’s always been.”

The Lions are also hoping for a healthier year from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and getting both would be a big boost as Detroit tries to show that they are a better team all around than they were in 2015.