On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers cancelled practice because of torrential rains. The Panthers don’t have an indoor facility, so coaches determined the weather conditions were not conducive to a productive practice.
The Detroit Lions don’t have that problem. They have a indoor practice field that protect them from the weather, and considering they had a walkthrough on Wednesday night, that came in handy on Thursday, the first significantly snowy day in Metro Detroit.
Or... not. Head coach Matt Patricia marched his team outside on Thursday to practice in the cold and snowy conditions:
It’s a curious decision considering the Lions’ next three games are at home—in an indoor stadium. Their next away game, at the Arizona Cardinals, is also likely to be indoors, although they have a retractable roof.
In fact, the Lions have just two games remaining on their schedule in which it’s possible they’ll draw weather like Thursday’s: a December 16 matchup with the Bills and a Week 17 road game in Green Bay. Both are over a month away.
Matt Patricia won’t meet with the media until Friday, so we won’t have insight into his decision until then, but it’s hard to come up with a rationale for this choice. The wintery conditions clearly make it tougher for the players to gain traction on the field, and players can’t go full-speed without risking an injury.
The obvious answer is that Patricia wants the team to toughen up and be prepared for those two games in December. Still, Michigan will have plenty of days like this between now and then, so this seems like an odd time to prepare for outdoor conditions. Patricia didn’t seem to mind the conditions all that much, still sporting his shorts in the cold:
Missing at Thursday’s practice were the same three players that didn’t take part in Wednesday’s walkthrough: A’Shawn Robinson, Michael Roberts, and Marvin Jones Jr.