Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said during his Monday press conference that the team is "potentially" in need of help at the offensive tackle position because of injuries. Starting right tackle Jason Fox has missed most of the season with various injuries, and his replacement, Corey Hilliard, suffered a knee injury on Sunday. Also, starting left tackle Riley Reiff hurt his hamstring on Sunday, meaning rookie LaAdrian Waddle is the only healthy offensive tackle on the team.
Just how long might the three injured tackles be out? It's not clear, but here's what Schwartz said about each on Monday:
- The fact that Reiff returned after Hilliard went down is "encouraging" for his status going forward.
- Fox is apparently "improving," but there's no sign of when he will be back. (Even if he's able to return this week, you really can't count on him staying healthy at this point.)
- Finally, Hilliard's injury is more than just a day-to-day thing, but it's not considered long term. That's not a very clear timetable, but it doesn't sound like he will be available this week.
If Reiff is able to play, he will start at left tackle this week, and that would put Waddle in line to start at right tackle if Fox and Hilliard can't go. Even if both Reiff and Fox are available, depth is still extremely limited, so the Lions may need to add an offensive tackle to at least get them to their bye next week.
In other injury news, cornerback Rashean Mathis didn't do any more damage to his injured groin. He simply "fatigued" the injury enough that he had to leave Sunday's game early.