The Detroit Lions will reportedly be without their interim head coach on Saturday, as both Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are reporting that Darrell Bevell will not be eligible to play due to his close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID.
According to reports, wide receivers coach Robert Prince will take over as interim-interim head coach. Per Michael David Smith of Profootballtalk, Prince becomes the first interim of an NFL interim head coach since 2012, when the Saints had to rely on Aaron Kromer following suspensions from BountyGate.
Prince has been one of the most well-respected—and longest lasting—coaches for the Lions. He’s held his position since 2014, overseeing the likes of Calvin Johnson, Marvin Jones Jr., Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay. He’s also a high-energy coach that is clearly well liked by the players.
You may remember just how fun of a presence he is on the sidelines from his mic’d up segment this training camp:
While Prince will be acting as head coach, he will not be callings plays on offense. Those responsibilities have been given to Lions quarterback coach Sean Ryan. Ryan has been a positional coach for his long coaching career, but was given a lot of credit for the performance of the Lions’ backups last year, when both David Blough and Jeff Driskel were thrown into the lineup without much warning.
As for the defensive side of the ball, there are still no answers. Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin was not at practice on Wednesday, nor were any of the Lions’ positional coaches. It’s unclear if any of them will be eligible to coach on Saturday, nor is it clear who would replace them if they cannot.