The offensive tackle position became a big question mark for the Detroit Lions this offseason with Jeff Backus retiring and Gosder Cherilus moving on to the Indianapolis Colts. Simply on paper, it was a given that Riley Reiff would take over at left tackle and Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard would compete to start at right tackle. There was no guarantee that these players would be effective, though.
Earlier this week, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was asked about the situation at offensive tackle. The thinking all offseason was that a veteran offensive tackle would be brought in at some point, but Mayhew made it known that he doesn't feel that's necessary. In other words, the current tackles are currently getting the job done. From the Free Press:
"We’ve got some guys here that we’ve been training, that have been working in our system for a long time, that we feel very comfortable with at tackle, and we’re going to play with those guys, I think," Mayhew said.
As it stands right now, Reiff will start at left tackle and Fox or Hilliard will start at right tackle. The fourth tackle will be LaAdrian Waddle or Austin Holtz as opposed to a veteran who was simply brought in as extra depth.
Now, an injury could obviously change the Lions' line of thinking. Poor play from the tackles in the preseason could also change the Lions' approach. For now, though, the Lions are happy with the offensive tackles already on their roster.