The Detroit Lions kicked off their final week of preseason practices on Monday and there were a few notable returns and omissions from the attendance sheet.
First, let’s start on the offensive line. After missing an entire week of practice, T.J. Lang was suited up in full pads and went through all of the individual drills (the only part open to the media). Lang has been the one missing piece of the offensive line, having sat for all three preseason games thus far. The Lions used his absence as an opportunity to test their offensive line depth, mixing in Frank Ragnow, Kenny Wiggins, Joe Dahl and Leo Koloamatangi in with the first-stringers, though none appeared to rise to the occasion.
But while the Lions got Lang back, starting center Graham Glasgow took the day off. Though he wasn’t participating in individual drills, he was working on the stationary bike and the ropes, indicating that his undisclosed injury may not be too serious. Glasgow did not miss a snap with the starters in Friday’s game against the Buccaneers.
Lions tight end Luke Willson did miss snaps in that game after suffering a knee injury. Willson was at practice today, but did not participate in positional drills. He was jogging at a pretty good pace on the sidelines and was even running some suicide drills, so it appears he avoided a major injury as well.
The Lions got two more players back at practice Monday after missing some time last week: cornerback DeShawn Shead and wide receiver Jace Billingsley. Shead entered camp as the No. 2 cornerback, and although he has since apparently lost it to Nevin Lawson, Lawson’s performance in last week’s preseason game was so bad that the position appears to still be up for grabs. That’s good news for Shead, who has missed the last two preseason games.
As for Billingsley, he’s fallen down the wide receiver depth chart and now appears to be a long shot to make the 53-man roster. His return to practice is a step in a positive direction, but he’ll need a great week of practice and superb game against the Browns on Thursday to make a serious run at the final roster.
The two newest Lions, linebacker Eli Harold and defensive end Robert Ayers, were both suited up (No. 51 and 90, respectively) and participated in positional drills.