Since Tuesday, Taylor Decker’s injury has been a mystery. Though Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said that Decker underwent surgery on Monday, he provided no insight as to what kind of surgery it was or any timetable for a recovery.
However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport offered more details on Friday. According to Rapoport, Decker suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder is will be out four to six months.
Former NFL doctor David J. Chao mentioned this as a possibility for Decker earlier in the week, and his timeline for rehab was identical to Rapoport’s:
If required a labrum repair, that is minimum 4 months recovery and could be 6 months. https://t.co/KqZRLBZ9nM— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) June 6, 2017
The key here, though, is four months “minimum.” That means if Decker does indeed have a torn labrum, he will miss the first month of the regular season. If Decker is ready to go after the bare minimum four months, he could be ready to return by Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers. If it takes Decker closer to six months, he could miss 12 or more games.
With this news, it seems almost certain that Decker will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. That means he’ll sit out all of camp until cleared by doctors. However, the real decision will come at the beginning of the regular season. Then the Lions will have a choice to take Decker off the PUP list or place him on the reserve/PUP list, which would make him ineligible to return until Week 7—which just so happens to be the Lions’ bye week.
Whatever the Lions choose to do, it looks like they’ll have to deal with at least some regular season time without Decker in the plans.