On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions did something they rarely do: Made a move that is almost universally praised. The moment the Seahawks surprisingly waived veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney, every single Lions fan—myself very much included—pleaded with the Football Gods to somehow let Freeney fall to the Lions’ spot in the waiver priority.
He did, and the Lions didn’t waste the opportunity to snatch him up. Immediately, Freeney becomes one of the Lions’ best pure pass rushers, even at age 37. And that’s not hyperbole, check out Pro Football Focus’ pass-rushing efficiency stats for Freeney compared to other Lions linemen:
Pass rushing productivity marks this season, from @PFF:— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) November 22, 2017
Dwight Freeney: 11.5
Anthony Zettel: 10.5
Cornelius Washington: 8.6
Ziggy Ansah: 8.5
Jeremiah Valoaga: 7.9
But now the question becomes: When will Freeney play? He’s obviously a veteran and likely knows how to play in just about every system in existence, and the Lions arguably have their biggest game of the season on Thursday. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Will the Lions play Dwight Freeney today vs. the Vikings?
My answer: I don’t think so. Chances are pretty good that Freeney either got into Detroit late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. That, alone, gives him so little time to adjust, it would be hard to make that sort of quick turnaround.
Additionally, Freeney played just three days ago on “Monday Night Football.” Even though he only played for 17 defensive snaps, that is a rough transition, especially if you’re doing it in a different locker room.
While it wouldn’t shock me to see Freeney play on Thursday, especially given his veteran status, I just don’t think the Lions are going to hurry him along like that. If Detroit was ready to push him into the active gameday lineup, I think you would have seen them waive a guy like Kasim Edebali instead of Jace Billingsley to make room for Freeney.
Either way, I’m excited to see what Freeney can bring to Detroit, even if I have to wait another week for it.
UPDATE: NFL Network is reporting that Dwight Freeney will NOT play vs. Vikings.
Will Dwight Freeney play against the Vikings on Thanksgiving?
This poll is closed