As Detroit Lions starting right guard T.J. Lang continues to miss practice, concern is growing that the veteran offensive lineman could be dealing with a serious injury. Lang had an injury-riddled season last year, and at 30 years old, his body isn’t getting any fresher.
But Lang met with the media briefly on Tuesday and tried to put the concerns to rest.
“All I can really say is that it’s nothing serious going on,” Lang said. “Just kind of being cautious right now with the training staff, trainers, doctors. My plan this year, right now, is take it day-by-day, be healthy and do my best to be out there for Week 1.”
Lang added, “If it were the regular season right now, I’d be out there.”
Last year, Lang was a regular on the Lions’ injury report as he struggled through injuries to the back, foot and a concussion. He was also coming off hip surgery entering the 2017 season, causing him to miss OTAs and minicamp.
But back in April, Lang was pumped about entering 2018 surgery-free for the first time in three years.
“I’m not making any big predictions here, but this is the first time I’ve done an offseason workout in three years, so I’m definitely excited about that,” Lang said at the time.
But now that he’s been sidelined for over a week now, Lang admits it’s been a little frustrating not being out there with the guys yet again.
“Anytime the plans kind of change, I think there’s obviously a little bit of frustration,” Lang said.
One possible source of that frustration is missing out on time to build chemistry within the unit. Though Lang has played between Rick Wagner and Graham Glasgow before, Glasgow spent most of his 2017 season at left guard, not center. Still, Lang isn’t worried about it.
“I’ve played a lot of football with Rick and Graham. So I do my best to simulate what we do on the field in the meetings in the locker room,” Lang said. “So we do a good job of communicating, even when I’m not out there.”
As for missing out on preseason games? Lang isn’t sweating that, either.
“Mentally, it goes a long ways [to be out there] for preparation for the season, but at the same time, I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Lang said. “I can find ways to simulate that, even if I don’t play this week or next week. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting off to a good start.”