The Detroit Lions got their 2015 preseason off to a pretty great start last week with a dominant 23-3 victory over the New York Jets. This week, the Lions are set to take on the Washington Redskins on the road on Thursday. Here are three storylines worth keeping an eye on leading up to the Redskins game:
1. Does the injury situation improve at all?
Okay, so the injury situation isn't exactly bad when you consider that the only severe injury suffered to this point involved a player who likely wasn't going to make the team anyway (Darren Keyton). However, the Lions have several starters still sitting out practice with Joique Bell, LaAdrian Waddle and Jason Jones on the PUP list and Haloti Ngata on the NFI list. There's no expectation that any of those players will see game action this week if they are activated, but just getting one of them back on the practice field would be a step in the right direction. The same goes for rookie Alex Carter, who has missed all of camp so far with an ankle injury.
2. What will Ameer Abdullah do for his encore?
Ameer Abdullah introduced himself to the nation last week with his 67-yard performance against the Jets. He only got seven carries, but he had an electrifying 45-yard run that even drew some comparisons to Barry Sanders. That's obviously an overreaction, but Abdullah is suddenly on the national radar. What will he do in his second preseason game for an encore? It will be interesting to see, but I'm personally hoping he gets a chance to show off his skills in the passing game.
3. Can TJ Jones really beat out Jeremy Ross for the return job?
Of all the players who got a chance to serve as the Lions' returner last Thursday, TJ Jones showed the most potential by far. He had three punt returns for 31 yards against the Jets, and 24 of those yards came on one return. He showed a good presence back there on punts, and I liked the way he ran with the ball once it was in his hands. The Lions are clearly open to moving Jeremy Ross out of the return job he's occupied the last couple of seasons, given how many other players have received a look, and Jones seemingly has the best case of the other candidates so far. If that continues in Week 2, Jones could potentially be on the verge of earning a roster spot just with his work on special teams, but consistency is key for a role like that.