The NFL season is still about three months out, but the state of the Detroit Lions offensive line could already be in jeopardy due to injury. Taylor Decker, the Lions first-round pick from 2016, apparently injured his shoulder last week in OTAs. According to head coach Jim Caldwell, Decker underwent surgery on Monday for his shoulder and will be out from practice, although he does not believe Decker’s injury will preclude him from the entire 2017 season.
Jim Caldwell says Taylor Decker won’t be at practice today - he had surgery yesterday for a shoulder injury he suffered in practice.— Tori Petry (@sportstori) June 6, 2017
Details were not immediately available on the nature of Decker’s shoulder injury. Caldwell declined to say how the injury was caused, but OTAs are non-contact by nature.
The blow to the Lions season outlook with Decker cannot be understated. Despite his youth, Taylor Decker was seen as the lynchpin to the offensive line and perhaps the second-least replaceable member of the Lions offense behind Matthew Stafford. For now, Caldwell does not believe that Decker will be forfeited from the regular season, but there is not enough information at present to say for certain.
Options for Decker’s replacement on the current roster are limited, but the Lions have already been trying to find a working solution. The Free Press’ Dave Birkett noticed last week that the Lions were playing Joe Dahl at left tackle. Caldwell also stated at the press conference on Tuesday that Rick Wagner would remain starting at right tackle.
Caldwell and the Lions are expected to update Taylor Decker’s status at the start of training camp, but no timetable to his recovery was made available.