The Detroit Lions will never admit it, but their 2019 campaign is essentially over. I won’t go as far as saying they only have meaningless football left, because I don’t like that term and I don’t think it’s particularly true. For many Lions heading into free agency in 2020, these final few games could mean the difference in millions of dollars. For others, it’s the opportunity to showcase their skills and simply play the game they love to play. It may be meaningless to fans, but many of the players in that locker room still have plenty to play for.
One of the more intriguing parts of a lost season is getting a look at the younger players. For them, these final games can provide valuable experience in live NFL action that practices and the preseason simply cannot replicate.
Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni talked about exactly this as it pertains to Lions fifth-round rookie Amani Oruwariye:
“(It’s) really, really important for him,” Pasqualoni said this week. “We’re just happy that he’s starting to come around.”
Oruwariye is one example, but there are plenty of young players that may get a shot down the stretch to watch.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Which young Lions player are you most eager to see play down the stretch?
My answer: Austin Bryant.
Due to an injury at training camp, we didn’t even get an opportunity to watch Bryant during the preseason. With Devon Kennard underperforming at the jack linebacker spot, and Detroit failing to find any source of consistent pressure outside of Trey Flowers, hope falls back on the Lions’ 2019 fourth-round pick.
Bryant isn’t an elite pass rusher, but he did well for himself at Clemson throughout the years. With Flowers sidelined due to a concussion, Bryant could get himself a good amount of playing time over the next month and a half. If the rookie plays well, it could provide at least some optimism going forward for this defense.