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Detroit Lions OTAs: Recapping Day 1

With no media reports, we relied upon photo galleries to tell us what happened on the opening day of Lions OTAs.

Detroit Lions Rookie Minicamp Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Day 1 of the Detroit Lions organized team activities is in the books. Sadly, the inaugural team practice was not open to the public, so we won’t be giving you a detailed breakdown of how Jarrad Davis looked or who is the leader out of the gate in the backup quarterback battle.

However, not all is lost. The Detroit Lions released three different photo albums of Tuesday’s session. We scoured every single photo to get any piece of information that we could gather from practice. That being said, it’s way too early to jump to any firm conclusions. This was the 2017 team’s first practice all together and the coaches are likely trying a bunch of things out.

Disclaimers aside, let’s jump into the juicy details.

Here are the sources of this information, in case you want to do some digging of your own:


Through these photos, we can gather who participated during Tuesday’s practices. However, it’s important to note that we can only decipher who did practice, not who was absent from practice. Just because a player didn’t get their picture taken doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Additionally, the photos don’t tell us if any of these players were limited in their participation. Keep that in mind.

Here are the notable players that participated, and why it is important:

  • Matthew Stafford - Participated with no visible restrictions on his finger.
  • Ameer Abdullah - Participated, did not wear red no-contact jersey. Finished 2016 on IR due to foot injury.
  • Quandre Diggs - Participated, finished 2016 season on IR with torn pectoral.
  • Travis Swanson - Practiced, did not wear red no-contact jersey. Finished 2016 on IR due to concussion.
  • Jalen Reeves-Maybin - Participated. Missed final nine games of college career due to shoulder injury.
  • Teez Tabor - Participated. Said last week he has a lingering hamstring issue and may not be 100 percent until training camp

Depth chart

The Lions ran several positional drills, which gives us a chance to see who the coaches currently see as first-team players. Obviously, this is subject to change and does not necessarily represent where the players will end up when training camp is finished.

Here’s what the Lions’ “first-string” offensive line looked like:

LT: Taylor Decker
LG: Graham Glasgow
C: Travis Swanson
RG: Laken Tomlinson
RT: Rick Wagner

There was no sign of T.J. Lang in any of the photo galleries, which is not a surprise. Lang said back in April that he was disappointed he wouldn’t be able to participate in OTAs thanks to hip surgery from January. He expects to be ready by training camp.

There was also no sign of Theo Riddick at practice. According to Dave Birkett, that isn’t much of a surprise:

There wasn’t much to tell from the photos on the defensive side of the ball, although for at least one rep, A’Shawn Robinson and Khyri Thornton were lined up at defensive tackle against the No. 1 offensive line.

Punt return battle

Again, there isn’t much to go on, but based on the special team photo gallery there were at least four players returning punts on Tuesday:

  • Golden Tate
  • Jared Abbrederis
  • TJ Jones
  • Keshawn Martin

It’s interesting to see Tate as part of the special teams crew. The Lions toyed with Tate returning punts during the 2015 season, but ultimately decided against it last year.

There weren’t any photos of Jace Billingsley or Jamal Agnew returning punts or kicks, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t involved.

Anything else cool?

Michael Burton made a sweet-looking one-handed catch over Reeves-Maybin.

In the past, the Lions have provided a short highlight reel of practice. If they publish one for Tuesday’s practices, we’ll add it to this post.

UPDATE: Here are the highlights from Day 1.

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