Chris Houston, Kevin Smith, Nick Fairley back in action for Lions

Allen Park — Slowly but surely, the wounded are walking back on to the playing field for the Lions.

Back at practice Wednesday were cornerback Chris Houston, who missed two games with a knee injury; running back Kevin Smith, who has been battling an ankle sprain; and defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who missed last Sunday with a foot injury.

Houston and Fairley went through the individual drills, but it is unknown whether they were full participants the rest of the way. Smith, who appeared to be moving well, worked on the side with a trainer during position drills.

Still not on the practice field were safety Louis Delmas, out the last two weeks with a knee injury; defensive end Lawrence Jackson, out the last four weeks with a thigh injury; outside linebacker Justin Durant, who has a hamstring injury; cornerback Eric Wright, who injured a hamstring Sunday; and cornerback Aaron Berry, who injured his shoulder last Sunday.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz reiterated Monday that none of those players were facing season-ending injuries.

“They’re all going to get back, it’s just a question of when,” he said. “It’s still too early to tell for this week.”

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch took his normal Wednesday rest day.

Kevin Smith works as Lions’ No. 3 RB while Jahvid Best sits


Chris McCosky/ The Detroit News

Allen Park — Jahvid Best (concussion), as expected, was not cleared for practice Tuesday, amid reports that he will miss his third straight game Sunday.

ESPN, citing an anonymous league source, reported that Best would not play at Chicago. The team has not officially ruled him out.

Running back Kevin Smith, waived by the Lions after last season, was signed Monday and was working in as the No. 3 running back early in practice Tuesday.

Veteran guard Leonard Davis, signed Sunday, was working at No. 2 right guard Tuesday.

Defensive tackle Sammie Hill (foot) was the only other player not practicing. Rookie tackle Nick Fairley (foot) was practicing, though he still looked limited in the early drills.

Receiver and special teams ace Rashied Davis, who has missed six games with a foot injury, was back and looked to be at full strength. He worked as one of the gunners on the first punt coverage unit.

The Lions also made a practice squad move, signing former LSU receiver Terrence Tolliver and releasing offensive tackle Casey Bender.