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Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay returns to practice, Taylor Decker absent

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The Lions got a starter back, but had a starter missing from Friday’s practice.

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

It may be a little too early to count out Darius Slay from Sunday’s contest with the New England Patriots. The Detroit Lions’ All-Pro cornerback returned to practice on Friday after missing the two previous sessions with a concussion. Slay appeared to go through all of the drills during the open portion of practice (first 15 minutes or so), but he was sporting a red no-contact jersey:

To clear the concussion protocol and be eligible to play for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Slay must be a full participant in a practice then clear further medical tests to make sure he’s not suffering from any symptoms after practice. It’s unclear if the no-contact jersey prevents this from being a “full participation” day of practice from Slay, but we’ll know when Friday’s injury report comes out around 4 p.m. ET.

In less positive news, Lions left tackle Taylor Decker was missing from practice according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Decker was not previously listed on the injury report all week and was available to the media after Thursday’s practice. At this point, it’s not clear whether Decker suffered an injury or was absent for another reason.

If he is unable to go, it will be interesting to see who the Lions put at left tackle. Backup tackle Andrew Donnal remains out of practice, so the Lions would likely have to rely on rookie fifth-round pick Tyrell Crosby. The Lions may also consider promoting Jamil Demby from the practice squad, if necessary.