After just a single solo practice by themselves, the Detroit Lions are back at it with another team on Tuesday morning. The New York Giants are in town, and three consecutive joint practices await both teams in Allen Park this week.
Though joint practices are nothing new for the Lions, this is a unique week in that it will be the first time the Lions host joint practices in front of a live crown in the modern era. Tuesday’s practice will be open to Lions season ticket holder, while the remaining two sessions are open to anyone who shows up.
It should be an energetic week with fans buzzing about the team and seeing a more competitive practice than they’re used to. On top of that, there are a few matchups between the teams that should draw a lot of attention and have the potential of being highly entertaining.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
What are the best matchups between the Giants and Lions for joint practices?
My answer: Well, the obvious (and correct) answer is Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Darius Slay. The two faced off last year, but Beckham was coming off an injury and the hype didn’t match the results. Beckham pulled in just four catches for 36 yards. In the previous year’s matchup, Slay was injured early in the game and we were again left with a disappointing result to a marquee matchup.
But this week both players are healthy and will almost certainly line up one vs. one in plenty of reps. It’s going to be must-see football.
But since this is the answer pretty much everyone was thinking of, let’s dive a little deeper. How about Damon “Snacks” Harrison against the Lions’ revamped offensive line—specifically, first-round rookie Frank Ragnow. Harrison has been arguably the league’s best run-stuffing nose tackle for the past three years, while Ragnow is supposed to be the final piece to help the Lions finally establish a running game.
This will undoubtedly be Ragnow’s biggest test to date, and it’ll be fascinating to see how he responds. Last week against the Raiders, Ragnow got off to a slow start, losing some early reps in embarrassing fashion. But by the end of the week, Ragnow was reportedly looking like the first-round talent that the Lions saw in him, and he didn’t give up a single pressure in the preseason game. We’ll see if Ragnow goes through a similar progression against one of the league’s best this week.