Taylor Decker remains on the PUP list despite being eligible to return to the roster. Greg Robinson sat out of practice on Monday and Wednesday with an ankle injury. His backup, Emmett Cleary, also sat out both of this week’s practices with a similar ankle injury.
That leaves just Brian Mihalik and newly acquired Bryce Harris as the only two options remaining on the roster to player left tackle on Sunday.
Should the Lions sign Don Barclay?
My answer. Yes, absolutely.
Let’s get the drawbacks out of the way.
- Signing Barclay this late in the week means he’d only get two practices with the team before potentially starting on Sunday. That’s hardly enough time to learn an offense and Detroit would have to drastically simplify his role to be ready.
- Barclay is not good. He allowed 9.5 sacks in 2013, when he started 14 games at right tackle. He graded out as the second-worst tackle in the league in 2015 after starting five games for the Packers.
- Barclay has a history of injuries and is just coming off ankle injury that landed him on IR.
But despite all of those reasons, the Lions need Barclay. Brian Mihalik just isn’t a real option to start at left tackle on Sunday. He has never started an NFL game in his career, and he was a freakin’ defensive end in college. Mihalik saw his first real playing time against the Saints, and here’s what happened.
Yesterday tackle Brian Mihalik played RT for six snaps. He gave up pressures on three of them including a sack.— Brett Whitefield (@PFF_Brett) October 16, 2017
Watch Cam Jordan bull-rush Brian Mihalik. Knocks Mihalik backwards into Matthew Stafford; Jordan gets a sack without ever touching the QB. pic.twitter.com/lfV7KtjdJ7— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 16, 2017
Mihalik absolutely cannot start against the Steelers’ dynamic pass rush or Matthew Stafford will get hurt. Detroit could still use Bryce Harris, but the 28-year-old tackle hasn’t started a game in three years and only has two starts under his belt since entering the league in 2012.
That leaves Detroit with Barclay, a versatile, experienced offensive lineman that has a ton of playing time under his belt. He may not be good, but he’s apparently good enough for the Packers to have re-signed him in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017. And, honestly, that’s all I need to hear to have him start over both Mihalik and Barclay.
It’s anything but an ideal situation, but I think Barclay represents Detroit’s best opportunity to protect Stafford’s blind side, and maybe he can even dish a little about the Packers—the Lions’ opponent next week. As long as Barclay is healthy, the Lions should pull the trigger on an offer.
Should the Lions sign Don Barclay this week?
This poll is closed