It hasn’t been a great go for the Detroit Lions’ starters thus far this preseason. While the offense has only had three series with Matthew Stafford behind center, it hasn’t gone all that well. The starting defense has played a little bit more this preseason and the results have been similarly disappointing.
In other words, it certainly looks like this team isn’t quite ready for the regular season yet, and they could probably use some serious in-game practice before opening the year against the New York Jets at home.
But they really only have one more opportunity. Starters don’t typically play in the preseason finale, leaving just Friday’s game against the Buccaneers to get ready. Obviously, you want to give your starters every opportunity to be ready for Week 1, but the threat of injury looms large in each preseason game.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
How long should the Lions play their starters in their preseason dress rehearsal against the Buccaneers?
My answer: It’s pretty standard, but I’d like to see the first team out for the entire first half. While I’m extremely nervous of putting Stafford out there considering the way the offensive line has played thus far—and at this rate, they could be without T.J. Lang on Friday—Stafford is going to need some time to get used to this offensive front and properly communicate with them. He has little to prove when actually throwing the ball, but he needs build chemistry with the offensive line as much as they do with each other.
Plus, the defense needs all the practice they can get. This is the first week they’ll be gameplanning a little, and that sort of in-week adjustments is going to be absolutely key to their success in 2018.
So one half seems like a good enough amount of time to get a legit evaluation of the starters, allowing them to, too, shake off rust. While that’s plenty of time for an injury to occur, they have to take the bubble wrap off sometime.
How long should the starters play vs. Bucs?
This poll is closed
They shouldn’t play
1 or 2 series
More than a half