The Detroit Lions were back on the practice field Wednesday after their day off. Here’s a brief recap of the biggest stories and observations from Wednesday’s practice.
Kenny Golladay with the first team
For almost the entire portion of team drills, any time the Lions went three-wide, Golladay was in there with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr.—and Golladay looked like he belonged there.
On one of the very first reps, Golladay—up against Nevin Lawson—beat him thoroughly on a crossing route by at least two steps. Matthew Stafford hit him in stride for what would’ve been a big gain.
After practice, Jim Caldwell downplayed the first-team reps.
“We’re trying to cross-train him a little bit, but he has the speed, has the length and those kind of things you look for in a good matchup on the outside," said Caldwell.
We’ll see if Golladay continues to get reps ahead of TJ Jones—who had one of the very few drops I witnessed Wednesday—but for now, CHOO-CHOO.
Defensive end reps
Cornelius Washington finally returned to a significant, but not full load of reps on Wednesday. Washington started training camp on the Non-Football Injury list, and has battled to get back into the lineup since being taken off the list at the opening of camp.
He spent some time with the ones, but clearly wasn’t getting full reps. When Washington was out, Alex Barrett got some time with the first-team defensive line.
After practice, Washington praised the play of Barrett. “We’ve still got some young guys coming up, Alex is playing very well,” Washington said.
Jeremiah Valoaga and Pat O’Connor took most of the second team reps. O’Connor stood out a bit, decidedly beating Storm Norton (at right tackle) on a rep, drawing a holding flag.
Newly added Giorgio Newberry didn’t get much, if any, work during team drills, but his size definitely stood out among other defensive lineman. He’s listed at 6-foot-6, the tallest of the group, but he’s a lean 260 pounds.
Despite the season-ending injuries to Kerry Hyder and Brandon Copeland, Washington remains optimistic about the defensive line.
“The [locker] room is stacked, this room is absolutely stacked.” When pushed on why he has confidence in such a young group of guys, Washington simply said, “Have you seen them play?”
The Lions were seriously low on tight ends Wednesday. Despite Caldwell saying he expected Ebron back this week, he remained sidelined for both individual and team drills. Additionally, Cole Wick, Tim Wright and Khari Lee were all out.
Robert Tonyan got some first-team reps alongside Darren Fells when the Lions went into two-TE sets, but the Lions could really use some help at tight end. Detroit did sign Andrew Price earlier in the day, but I did not see much of him out there at practice.
The Lions were also shorthanded at offensive line on Wednesday. Laken Tomlinson joined Cornelius Lucas on the sidelines, but Lucas was working with a trainer and appears closer to a return.
The good news is that T.J. Lang was back with the ones and could be on track to play in his first preseason game on Saturday.
Johnson Bademosi turning some heads... on defense
The Lions love Bademosi for his special teams capabilities, but he made quite an impression on defense during Wednesday’s practice.
“He is playing much better than he’s ever played at any point in time in practice,” Caldwell said. “He’s rugged. He gets his hand on you, and he’s very physical.”
We saw an example of that late in practice when Bademosi was lined up opposite TJ Jones. Bademosi was very physical with Jones, boxing him out for a bobbling interception in the corner of the end zone. However, he had one tiny step out of bounds, so it was deemed incomplete.