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Corey Hilliard, LaAdrian Waddle both getting No. 1 reps at right tackle

The Detroit Lions are giving both Corey Hilliard and LaAdrian Waddle a shot at winning the starting right tackle job.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that there is indeed a legitimate position battle taking place at right tackle. After LaAdrian Waddle became the Detroit Lions' full-time starter at the position midway through the 2013 season, it was expected that he would continue to be the full-time starter in 2014. That could still end up being the case, but Waddle is facing some competition for the starting job from Corey Hilliard.

On Day 1 of Lions training camp, Hilliard actually got the first-team reps at right tackle, meaning Waddle was stuck with the second unit. On the second day of camp, however, it was the other way around. Hilliard was the No. 2 right tackle on Tuesday, allowing Waddle to take reps with the first-team offense.

Last summer, Hilliard was involved in a training camp battle at right tackle with Jason Fox, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Fox beat out Hilliard to start at right tackle, but injuries forced Hilliard into the lineup as a starter for seven games. Hilliard later suffered an injury of his own, which opened the door for Waddle to get a shot at starting. He did so well that he made eight consecutive starts before missing the season finale with an ankle injury. (Sensing a theme yet?)

This summer, it would be pretty surprising if Hilliard beats out Waddle. I know the Lions are rotating both players in as the No. 1 right tackle right now, but keep in mind that it took Larry Warford basically all of training camp last year to secure the starting right guard job. The Lions aren't going to just hand the starting right tackle job to Waddle.

With this starting job up for grabs for now, Hilliard is going to get a lot of valuable reps this summer. Assuming he ends up being the Lions' main backup at offensive tackle when the regular season arrives, all of those reps should keep him ready to start just in case. At the same time, having someone to compete with Waddle during camp should keep him on his toes, and this should ensure that he's focused on constantly improving as he gets ready for his second season in the NFL.

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