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Sunday open thread: How does Justin Coleman’s return affect the secondary?

The Lions’ secondary is starting to get back to full health.

NFL: New York Giants at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have had a banged up secondary for most of the year, but with the team activating Justin Coleman from reserved/injured, they may finally have all of their top corners available against the Colts—assuming Desmond Trufant is healthy enough to suit up. This means the Lions might have to do some shuffling in the secondary.

Coleman hasn’t played a game since Week 1 against the Bears. His natural position since he got to Detroit has been as their starting slot corner, but Darryl Roberts has stepped in for him since he’s been gone. On the outside, Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye have been the starters with Desmond Trufant battling injuries, but Okudah seems to be the one that sees the sideline when Trufant is on the field.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

How does Justin Coleman’s return affect the Lions’ secondary?

My answer: This helps the team tremendously in terms of depth. Having Darryl Roberts as your backup slot corner is a very good thing, considering he’s been capable and not noticeably terrible in Coleman’s absence. (Note: Roberts, too, is battling through injury this week, though) I think things start to really get tough when you have to pick three corners to stay on the field between Okudah, Oruwariye, Trufant and Coleman.

It makes sense that Trufant should see the field due to his experience and the contract he was given, but he’s been arguably the Lions’ worst cornerback on the field—and yes, that has a lot to do with not being at 100 percent.

So I think for me, the return of Coleman should mean that the Lions keep Coleman in the slot for the foreseeable future and keep Okudah and Oruwariye on the outside until they feel that Trufant is 100 percent healthy and can be their No. 1 CB again. When all four are finally fully healthy, the Lions’ coaching staff might have to get creative.

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