Last week, the Detroit Lions gave up three sacks and a boatload of pressures in their eventual tie with the Arizona Cardinals. Detroit is hoping to clean up their protection issues this week, but the status of their left tackle looms large right now.
Taylor Decker popped up on the injury report with a back issue on Wednesday. Though it seemed like it may have been precautionary at first, Decker did not participate in most drills during the open portion of practice on Friday—a big change from earlier in the week, when Decker seemed close to a full participant. In Decker’s place was 2018 fifth-round pick Tyrell Crosby.
Of course, the Lions may just be taking it easy on their injured players so that they’re in good shape for Sunday. Linebacker Jarrad Davis, who—like Decker—had been a pretty active participant this week despite an ankle injury, also sat out most drills on Friday.
However, if this is more than the Lions simply being careful with Decker, it could spell for a horrible mismatch on Sunday. The Los Angeles Chargers have a fantastic duo of pass rushers in Melvin Ingram III and Joey Bosa. Even though Decker struggled in the season opener, he’s a much more promising player than Crosby, who struggled mightily throughout training camp and the preseason. Even worse, if something were to happen to Crosby, the Lions’ depth at tackle beyond him is almost nonexistent. The Lions would be forced to move an interior guy to the outside, and that could have a big domino effect on the offensive line.
The Lions will release their final injury report with designations for Sunday’s game later on Friday around 4 p.m. ET. Let’s hope for some good news.