As if the Detroit Lions’ offensive line situation wasn’t in murky enough waters already with Taylor Decker out, and the duo of Greg Robinson and Cyrus Kouandjio struggling mightily to replace him, the team suffered another injury on Thursday when right tackle Rick Wagner left practice early.
Wagner, who started the day on the field as a starter during team drills, was suddenly absent during the second half of the day. No reporters saw what happened or even noticed Wagner leave the field, but Lions head coach Jim Caldwell confirmed Wagner suffered an injury. “He was out there to start, he just got a little issue,” Caldwell told reporters after practice.
Thankfully, the injury doesn’t appear to be very serious. “He’s just out for a little bit, but he should be okay,” Caldwell said.
You can see Caldwell downplay the injury below at the 9:45 mark.
(If you don’t see the video, click here)
The Lions trotted out undrafted rookie Storm Norton to replace Wagner during the final portion of practice. Earlier this camp, Norton received first-team reps at left tackle when Kouandjio and Robinson were both sidelined with injuries.
Caldwell’s demeanor certainly seems to suggest Wagner’s injury isn’t one that will cost him any time during the regular season, but it’s still not great news for a Lions offensive line that is still starting to gel.
With the Decker injury, Detroit is projected to be starting three new offensive linemen to begin the season, and with Robinson/Kouandjio coming along slowly, the Lions could use every single practice rep possible to develop chemistry and cohesion among the offensive line.
The Lions and Colts will hold one more joint practice on Friday morning before the two teams take the field on Sunday for their preseason opener.