Kelly’s surgery, which was performed at Mount Sinai Hospital, lasted nearly 12 hours.

The NFL’s decision to broaden the helmet-hit rule, making an ejection possible on such a foul, has brought out critics complaining that the league is becoming soft.

One prominent coach disagrees with the notion that taking out helmet hits will remove the physical nature of a brutal sport: New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, a member of the NFL’s competition committee that recommended the rule change.

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed to The Buffalo News that the surgery, which was termed complicated, was successful.

We successfully removed Mr. Kelly’s cancer from his upper jaw and lymph nodes from his neck, Dr. Mark Urken, the operating surgeon, said in a statement. We then reconstructed his upper jaw. Mr. Kelly is resting comfortably post-operatively.

The 25-year-old became eligible to apply for reinstatement in November but has yet to go through the process.

Gregory slipped during the 2015 draft from a projected first-round selection due to off-field concerns. The one-year ban marked the third suspension during the defensive end’s short NFL career. He previously served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for his first substance abuse violation and served an additional 10-game suspension for violating the policy a second time. He also failed the drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine.

You know, with the way the offenses are nowadays in the NFL, we need to have versatile guys that can cover, Quinn said. It’s a passing league and we need to have enough defensive backs that can play multiple positions to help us.

The Lions are largely done in free agency. The team will continue to re-shape its defense through the draft next month. How they address the roster, particularly the front four, will give us additional context clues on what the finished product might look like come August. Until then, we’ll just have to continue to watch Patricia’s Patriots film and try to imagine how Detroit’s current roster will similarly fill those roles.