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Detroit Lions minicamp Day 3 observations: Jermaine Kearse debuts with first team

It didn’t take long for the Lions’ newest player to get some playing time with Matthew Stafford.

The Detroit Lions wrapped minicamp on Thursday afternoon, but it wasn’t without some intrigue. There was a new face on the practice field, a prominent player missing and more shakeups on the offensive line. Let’s get into my Day 3 observations from Lions minicamp.


Trey Flowers was not in attendance on Thursday. And while it initially seemed like he may have taken a day off to rehab—he hasn’t been participating in full-team drills yet this offseason—the real reason turned out to be much less concerning. He’s getting his ring:

Otherwise, the attendance was the same as it has been all week.

WR near back to normal

While Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay remained with the group of players that sat out team drills and spent time with the trainers, both look remarkably close to being back to full participants. Today, while the rest of the players were doing team drills, they were running routes as close to full speed as they could possibly get. I would be shocked if either missed any time at the beginning of training camp.

Jermaine Kearse debuts with the ones

Just a few hours after the Lions made the signing official, Kearse made his debut with the wide receiving corps on the practice field.

Early in practice Chris Lacy, who had been taking reps with the first-team offense, suffered a leg injury and did not return. That gave Kearse the opportunity to get some playing time immediately with Matthew Stafford and company.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that on the first play of full team drills, Stafford went to Kearse and there was some sort of communication breakdown. Kearse cut his route short, and the ball went directly into the hands of Quandre Diggs. Stafford appeared to take blame for the play, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the two weren’t on the same page minutes after taking the field together for the first time.

More offensive line shakeups

For the majority of practice, the starting offensive line was the same as it was on Wednesday. From left to right: Taylor Decker, Joe Dahl, Frank Ragnow, Oday Aboushi and Rick Wagner.

But there was a small change on the second team. Graham Glasgow switched from right guard yesterday back to center today. Leo Koloamatangi move from center to right guard.

Additionally, during a 7-on-7 drill, the Lions shook up the offensive line completely. Detroit was constantly changing the lineup on a snap-by-snap basis, and I think I saw Graham Glasgow play three different positions in a span of 10 plays or so.

The Teez honeymoon is over

Teez Tabor was easily the most hyped player through the first couple weeks of OTAs, as he consistently made play after play. However, the past two practices have not been great for the young cornerback.

On Thursday, Tabor was beat by Andy Jones deep on three different occasions a couple of which would have been long touchdowns. Additionally, when lined up opposite Danny Amendola for one play, Tabor was beat by at least three steps on a crossing route.

That being said, Tabor did finish the practice strong. He had a nice pass breakup on a red-zone pass to Travis Fulgham, and he also notched yet another interception on a deep ball thrown into double coverage. Tabor was in perfect position and made the play. Still, there was a lot more bad than good from Tabor on Thursday.

Rookie notes

  • T.J. Hockenson - Hockenson has had a string of a couple quiet days. He’s actually been working with more of the second team lately, as Jesse James sees the majority of first-team work. In sets with multiple TEs, Hockenson and Logan Thomas are usually the first couple off the bench.
  • Jahlani Tavai - Tavai continues to get sporadic work with the first team, but mostly stays as the mike linebacker with the twos. You can tell he’s still working through some things. Theo Riddick “Theo Riddick’d” him today, which is always unflattering, and he later blew his assignment on a running back who leaked out of the backfield for an easy catch.
  • Travis Fulgham - Spent some time with the ones given that Lacy was injured. He made a few plays, including a simulated fourth-and-goal 8-yard touchdown pass over Tabor.

Random notes

  • Martha Ford was at practice for the second straight day.
  • The Lions opened up practice by going down a line and clapping hands of a high school team in attendance. Working with the City Year program, the Lions invited Detroit-based Bethune Elementary-Middle School to practice. It was a nice gesture to kick things off.
  • Noted a couple good plays by Michael Roberts on Thursday. One, he earned a third-down conversion on a toe-tap down the sidelines. On another, he elevated over Malik Carney for a touchdown grab. It’s worth noting, however, that Roberts is mostly getting time with the second and third teams.