It’s actually happening. Sports are really returning. More importantly, football is returning.
Next Tuesday, Detroit Lions rookies will report to training camp and begin the 2020 season. It goes without saying that this is going to be a lot different than your average training camp. Due to the pandemic, Lions fans will not be able to be in attendance this year. This, of course, is going to make the burning questions that fans have burn a lot harder.
We here at Pride Of Detroit have our set of burning questions to ask as well. Here are the our biggest questions.
Is Matthew Stafford ready to go?
Matthew Stafford hasn’t played a game since November of 2019. Since then, fans have been waiting with baited breath to see if their quarterback would return. There’s been a lot of hints that Stafford should be ready to go. For starters, he’s said as much on more than one occasion. Oh yeah and the Lions actually cleared him too.
Still, this is all just on paper. Will Stafford be able to return to full form once it’s time to play ball? We’ve seen some videos here and there of Stafford and the Lions receivers running some drills out in Georgia. But how will his body react to working full time?
We’ll get to see part of this question answered early on, but the real answers will come Week 1 when it’s live football.
Will D’Andre Swift start a new hype train?
I feel like we’ve done this before, right? First it was Jahvid Best, then it was Mikel Leshoure, Ameer Abdullah and finally Kerryon Johnson. Every summer, fans—and media, too—see a young running back show a lot of promise and jump aboard the hype train.
It seems the Swift train left the tracks a little earlier than others. Believe me, I’m on it. Lions fans are excited about the prospect that Swift may finally be the answer to their running back prayers. So naturally, a big question for everyone is how will he look this summer and how fast will he gel with the rest of the offense?
What will the offensive line look like?
The Lions have acted... let’s say strangely when it comes to their offensive line. The biggest example being their unwillingness to bring Graham Glasgow back despite the guard being arguably the strongest member of the line. Instead, they opted to keep Kenny Wiggins, who has struggled at times in Detroit.
The answer to their offensive line plans may have been hinted at in 2019. What if the guard rotations is here to stay? Joe Dahl, Glasgow and Wiggins all shared time throughout the entire season.
Then there’s Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The belief right now is that he will play right tackle, but he is also able to play guard. Will the Lions flex him inside certain situations and let another reserve, like Dan Skipper or Tyrell Crosby play the tackle position on that drive?
Of course, we have to talk about the rookies Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg. My personal belief right now is that Jackson is your starting right guard Week 1. We still have a lot of time to go and a lot of time to prove that opinion wrong.
It should be interesting to see what Matt Patricia and company have up their sleeves for the line in August. Right now it’s almost a complete mystery.
Will Kenny Golladay get a new deal before the season?
This can turn into a really scary situation here. Golladay is no doubt deserving of the money, and it should be a no brainer that the Lions lock down one of the best receivers in the game. But with this front office you never know. They tend to suffer from smartest guy in the room syndrome. By that I mean they might trick themselves into thinking they don’t need Golladay like they did with Glasgow.
Obviously these are two different situations. Glasgow was very good, but Golladay has the potential to be the best in the league someday. That day might be sooner rather than later, too. So what do the Lions do? Do they get it done now or do they wait till after the season?
They certainly have the money. Currently the Lions have the seventh most cap space in the league. They can definitely get it done. And Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press believes a deal may be done soon. Per Birkett, that deal could make Golladay one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.
Will we actually get to the season?
Remember that global pandemic thing? Yeah, that’s still happening. The NFL is doing a lot to try and combat their players getting sick, but the fact remains that it’s still a possibility. Just this week 59 players tested positive for the virus.
You have to wonder if things get out of hand, at what point will the NFL cut their losses and shut it down? Out of all the questions we asked today, this is the most important one. There’s a lot to consider here.
What if more players get sick and teammates decide it’s not safe and they don’t want to come back? What if an infected player infects a lot of other players? This is a contact sport. Everyone is constantly touching each other. What is the NFL’s plan if something crazy like a team’s whole offensive line gets COVID-19? It’s far fetched, but you never know.
The fact is we still don’t know everything about this virus, and it’s not going away. Will it affect the NFL season before football even starts?