The Detroit Lions released their “unofficial” depth chart on Tuesday afternoon. Though it’s important to keep in mind that their designations may be different than what we see on the field — the depth chart is compiled by the media relations department, not the head coach — this is still gives us a pretty good idea of what we may see on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
No surprises on the Lions first unofficial depth chart of the season. Ameer Abdullah... https://t.co/O5oRmkx7of pic.twitter.com/WEP3W6tlIR— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) September 6, 2016
The only real surprise among the starters is at the strong safety position. We knew throughout the preseason that Rafael Bush and Tavon Wilson would be in an intense battle. Early on, it appeared the job was Bush’s to lose, but slowly, Wilson began to take reps from him with the first-team defense. The first depth chart of the regular season lists Wilson as the starter.
Also interesting is the listing at special teams. Ameer Abdullah and Golden Tate are listed as the starting kick and punt returners respectively. For those expecting rookie Dwayne Washington to return kicks for the team, he is listed as the fourth-string kick returner. In fact, Washington is also listed as the fourth-string running back, indicating that he may even be one of the inactives on opening day.
Elsewhere, Kerry Hyder has been officially moved to defensive end, after initially being listed as a defensive tackle on the team’s online roster. Another interesting note is that both Khyri Thornton and A’Shawn Robinson are listed above Stefan Charles on the depth chart. On the offensive line, Joe Dahl is listed as a backup guard, not tackle.
But, again, it is important to point out this is purely unofficial. Though it’s compiled by the Lions, it is not by the people who will end up making the decisions on game day.
You can view the complete depth chart on the Detroit Lions official website.