The Detroit Lions resume organized team activities on Tuesday with their fourth practice out of 10 sessions. Though the team has only had one practice open to the media, there has still been news trickling in through photos, video and a little bit of live reporting.
Week 2 brings another single open practice to the media and two more closed from view. While the information available will likely still be limited, there are several things we’ll be looking for through reports. Here are five questions we’re hoping will get answered this week.
1 - How serious are the injuries?
The most notable injuries that were brought to light during Week 1 of OTAs were Tahir Whitehead, Theo Riddick and Armonty Bryant. The injuries to Riddick and Bryant aren’t all that surprising, as both finished the 2016 season on injured reserve. However, they have had months to recover by now, so it’s mildly surprising to not see them participating in full. Still, it’s just OTAs, and there’s no real point in pushing the issue for either of these two veterans.
Whitehead, on the other hand, is a surprising injury. The nature of the injury is still unknown, but the fact that he has been present at practice is a very good sign. In other words, there’s probably no reason to panic, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
2 - Is Jarrad Davis at middle linebacker to stay?
Because of Whitehead’s injury, it’s hard to say whether Lions first-round draft pick Jarrad Davis is taking reps a middle linebacker as a backup or as the presumed starter in 2017. Based on how they placed Taylor Decker at left tackle immediately last year, it seems likely that they’re doing something similar with Davis at MLB, but the Whitehead injury casts some sense of doubt.
3 - How will Matt Asiata fit in?
The team has yet to officially announce the signing of Matt Asiata, but there are now multiple reports that he has agreed to terms with Detroit. The question now is: Where will he fit on the roster? Will he immediately jump in and contend for the power runner role against the likes of Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington, or will he have to work his way up from the bottom of the roster? You better believe that the media will keep a keen eye on Asiata during the open practice this week.
4 - Who is on their way out?
The Detroit Lions roster currently stands at the maximum 90 men. That means that once Matt Asiata is officially signed, Detroit will have to part ways with a current player on the roster. The choice isn’t likely to shock anyone, but it could mean the end of a UDFA player or someone else caught on the bottom of the depth chart.
5 - Who will stand out at wide receiver?
Without pads, it’s hard to really gauge how well linemen or anyone on defense is doing. But for wide receivers, OTAs can still be a valuable evaluation tool. Considering the No. 4 WR roster spot will be one of the hotter competitions on the roster, the next few weeks could be huge for the likes of Jace Billingsley, TJ Jones, Jared Abbrederis and Keshawn Martin.