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Detroit Lions OTAs Day 8 recap: Teez Tabor neutralizes Kenny Golladay, picks up 1st INT

Teez Tabor had a big day at Lions OTAs on Tuesday.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Life went on in Allen Park on Tuesday after head coach Jim Caldwell made the shocking announcement that Taylor Decker had suffered a shoulder injury last week and underwent surgery on Monday. The Detroit Lions had their eighth OTA session later in the day, and the Detroit media was on hand for the third time in as many weeks.

This was the final OTA session that was open to the media, however, next week’s mandatory minicamp stretches three days—Tuesday through Thursday—and will be open to the media for all three sessions.

But before we get to that, let’s recap what happened on Tuesday. Because Pride Of Detroit was not there at practice on Tuesday, we used the following resources to recap the most important notes from Tuesday’s practice:

Left tackle update

With the news of Decker’s injury, all eyes were on left tackle to see who the Lions were planning on using at the now-vacant position. For now, it appears to be a two-man race for the crucial role:

This follows what Birkett noticed last night via the Detroit Lions’ photo gallery: Joe Dahl was getting some reps with the first team. It’s news that Cornelius Lucas is also in the hunt to grab the left tackle position.

But don’t forget about Corey Robinson. The former seventh-round pick has been absent from all three weeks of OTAs as he continues to recover from foot surgery.

Teez Tabor had a dominant performance

Nearly every Lions media publication—including us now—ran with the story of Teez Tabor notching his first interception against Matthew Stafford. Here’s how the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers described it:

As wide receiver Marvin Jones, the team’s best vertical threat, ran a deep route down the left sideline, quarterback Matthew Stafford heaved a bomb looking to connect for a big gain.

But Tabor was in position, camping out in Jones’ back pocket. As the trajectory culminated within reach of its intended target, the young corner leaped up, knocking Jones to the ground in the process, to secure his first interception of the offseason program.

While Tabor was excited about passing that benchmark in practice, he remained humble about the experience. “I had one good play against (Jones),” Tabor told reporters. “But he had about 15 against me.”

In the Lions official photo gallery, you can see a few still photos of the interception, but unfortunately, it was not a part of the official highlight reel.

But Tabor’s performance wasn’t just about one interception. According to MLive’s Kyle Meinke, Tabor shined throughout the entire practice. Meinke noted that Tabor neutralized third-round rookie Kenny Golladay through most of the practice.

More drops from tight ends

Both Meinke and Birkett noted another poor day from the tight end crew. Last week, Meinke said that “it wasn’t the sharpest day for the tight ends overall.” Tuesday, reporters were repeating the same tune. “I saw some drops from three different tight ends,” Birkett said in his video recap. “Not a great day for the tight ends.”

Meinke points out specifically Eric Ebron and Michael Roberts as two of the culprits, along with wide receiver Golden Tate.

Jared Abbrederis impressing media... and coaches

As the practices continue, the more it looks like Abbrederis is a serious candidate to win the Lions’ No. 4 wide receiver position. “Abbrederis had a nice catch out there,” Birkett said. “Few players have helped themselves more during OTAs than receiver Jared Abbrederis,” Meinke noted.

But Abbrederis is also catching the eye of his coaches. In a session with the media on Tuesday, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter gushed about Abbrederis’ performance through two and a half weeks of OTAs.

“Been a nice spring for Abbrederis,” Cooter said. “I think he runs routes the way you kind of want him to as a coordinator.”

Route running has always been one of Abbrederis’ strong suits, but he’s also been finishing off plays with spectacular catches. After a one-handed catch last week, Abbrederis followed it up with another highlight-reel catch:

Tahir Whitehead still out

Whitehead was absent from practice yet again, but it’s not clear if it’s because of an injury. For the second time, the Lions have reported that Whitehead was an “excused absence” from practice, suggesting there may be something else going on.

However, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin told reporters that Whitehead is in the team’s plans and will be the Lions starting weakside linebacker when he returns. “He’s going to be playing linebacker for us. Probably will be playing the WILL linebacker and he’s fine with it,” Austin said. “He’s doing some things in the offseason, but he’s fine. I expect him to be ready to go when camps starts.”

Here’s the rest of the attendance report for Tuesday’s practice, via ESPN’s Mike Rothstein:

Lions who didn't practice Tuesday: Theo Riddick, T.J. Lang, Taylor Decker, Corey Robinson, Ezekiel Ansah, Armonty Bryant, Tahir Whitehead, Don Carey. Decker, Whitehead and Carey were not spotted at all.

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Photo galleries:

Highlights