Where the Lions roster stands: Special teams

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

A breakdown of the Detroit Lions' specialists and what needs they may have on special teams.

As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Last up is special teams. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)

Back from last season: Sam Martin (2016), Don Muhlbach (2014)

New to the team: Nate Freese (2017), Giorgio Tavecchio (2015)

The only real storyline on special teams for the Lions this summer is the battle at kicker between Nate Freese and Giorgio Tavecchio. The Lions signed Tavecchio to a futures deal after the 2013 season, and they later selected Freese in the seventh round of this year's draft. Considering the Lions used a draft pick on Freese, he's viewed as the favorite to win the starting kicker job, but he will have to earn that spot in training camp and the preseason.

At punter and long snapper, the Lions only have Sam Martin and Don Muhlbach, respectively. The fact that neither player has any competition this summer pretty much sums up the situation at both positions. The Lions are extremely comfortable with Martin as he enters his second season in the league, and Muhlbach is about as reliable as they come at long snapper.

Need going forward?

With punter and long snapper set, the only question mark is at kicker. If Tavecchio and Freese both struggle, it's possible that the Lions could look for help elsewhere, but it seems unlikely at this point.

Previously: Quarterback, running back, fullback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive tackle, offensive guard, center, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback, safety

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