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Lions OTAs Day 2 recap: Observations, highlights, photos

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Recapping the Lions’ first practice open to the media.

Detroit Lions Rookie Minicamp Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

For the first time this year, the Detroit Lions took the field on Wednesday in front of the Detroit sports media. After a day of drawing conclusions based on photo galleries, we can actually make some more concrete conclusions via media reports and Jim Caldwell’s press conference.

For full recaps and observations from media members on hand, check out these stories:

Participation

Here is a list of players that did not participate in Wednesday’s practice:

  • Tahir Whitehead (unknown injury)
  • Glover Quin (excused for personal reason)
  • Armonty Bryant
  • Corey Robinson
  • T.J. Lang

Here are the players that were participated but were limited:

  • Theo Riddick (“held out of pretty much everything” per Meinke)
  • DJ Hayden (no team drills per Twentyman)
  • Teez Tabor (no team drills per Twentyman)
  • Don Carey

The big news here is Tahir Whitehead’s absence. There was no sign of injury toward the end of the season, nor were there any indications that he was limited during offseason workouts. It’s not clear yet how big of an issue this is, but the fact that he was present at practice is probably a good sign.

Also a good sign is Riddick being at least a partial participant of practice. Jim Caldwell said on Wednesday that Riddick is “doing some limited participation right now.” The Lions running back missed the final five games of last season due to injuries to both of his wrists that resulted in surgery.

Position changes

One of the bigger stories out of Wednesday’s OTAs was Alex Carter’s perceived move to safety. Multiple reporters noticed that Carter seemed to be taking all of his reps at safety. While this could be simply because both Quin and Carey were not participating in practice, many believed this move was coming. After the Lions signed DJ Hayden and drafted both Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew, the writing was on the wall for Carter: either move to safety for find a new job. According to Rothstein, Carter spent most of the day with the second-team defense.

Brandon Copeland also saw a bit of a position change. In 2016, the Lions shifted Copeland from linebacker to defensive end. On Wednesday, the Lions had Copeland moving back and forth between the two positions. Rothstein spoke to Copeland after practice:

“Well, back in high school they used to have Scout.com and Rivals.com and they used to put ‘athlete’ next to the guys,” Copeland said. “I always joke with the guys, put ‘ATH’ next to my name. I’m just a hybrid outside linebacker-D-end.

Camp standouts

Joe Dahl

With T.J. Lang recovering from hip surgery, the starting right guard position is currently up for grabs. Yesterday it appeared Laken Tomlinson had the position on lock, but according to several media members, Dahl got a good share of reps with the first-team offense. “Joe Dahl played a lot with the starters as well, and on both sides,” Meinke wrote in his OTA recap.

Kenny Golladay

Two reporters noted how good Golladay looked in his first action in front of the media. Rothstein said Golladay “had an impressive stride and looked pretty fluid for a rookie.” Kyle Meinke said that Golladay’s size stood out and that his “hands look as good as advertised too, sucking in every ball I saw thrown his way.”

Jarrad Davis

With Tahir Whitehead sidelined, it’s no surprise that Davis was immediately thrown into the starting middle linebacker position. Still, it seems like the Lions are fast-tracking Davis into his new starting role, much like they did with Taylor Decker last year. Rothstein said “he moved well,” but the general consensus was that without pads, it was really hard to gauge how comfortable Davis was in his new role.

Zach Zenner

As noted by Meinke, Zenner managed to earn some first-team reps with the offense while Ameer Abdullah occasionally rested. With no significant additions to their running back corps, the Lions could very well be relying on Zenner to take a significant role as the team’s change-of-pace back this season.

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