The week off has certainly helped a Lions team that was filled with numerous injuries. Over the course of this season, there were players that became injured and others that have been hurt the entire year. Now, as Detroit comes off of their bye week, we get a first look at a few of those injured players who are now well enough to play again.
The two main spots where players will be returning is on the offensive line and also at the linebacker position. The o-line has been decimated by injuries and now finally may be close to the projected lineup when the year first began. Rex Tucker and Ross Verba, who both have rarely seen the field this season, will be returning to their starting spots on the offensive line, which will be a big overhaul to the position. Also returning to the o-line is Barry Stokes. Stokes has missed a pretty decent amount of time due to an injury, and now will re-join his teammates as a starter next to Tucker and Verba.
Shifting our focus to the defensive side of the ball, the linebackers spot will also be seeing some changes. First, at middle linebacker, Teddy Lehman is supposed to return from the PUP list, and may get the call to start. In case, Lehman doesn't play on the first string, Paris Lenon will step in instead. Where does that leave Boss Bailey? Well, he will move back to outside linebacker, but is expected to be behind Alex Lewis, another player coming back from an injury. Either could get the start on Sunday, so it's just a matter of how practice goes.
I can't tell you how much I've been waiting for this team to be relatively close to full strength. Maybe now we can actually get a fair look at how this team really is. The linebackers will definitely have to make their presence felt as Mike Vick and Warrick Dunn won't be an easy task to shutdown. Same goes for the offensive line, Jon Kitna and Kevin Jones need to be protected, and having a few veterans out in front won't hurt.