If there was ever a sign that football is actually back, it’s Kenny Golladay snagging a ball over his head in the endzone.
That was exactly the scene at Allen Park on Wednesday as the entire Detroit Lions roster took the field for the first time for anything more than workouts and walkthroughs. It was the first day for the “ramp up period” of training camp, in which teams are permitted to have 90-minute practices but with only helmets and protective shirts allowed (as opposed to full pads). From there, practices can increase by 15 minutes per day with a maximum of 120-minute sessions.
Unfortunately, non-internal media is not yet allowed in the building, so any sort of actual coverage from the practice is extremely sparse. Media coverage—on a limited basis compared to previous years—will begin next week when fully-padded practices begin.
The one trove of information we actually have from Wednesday’s initial practice is a set of 66 photographs from the Lions official website. Since we’ve got nothing else to talk about, here’s what we can pull from those photographs.
NOTE: Take all of these observations with a grain of salt, seeing as they’re snapshots of practice with no real context to them. Forgive us for being a little eager for information.
- The Lions media department did a good job of not showing any formations on the offensive or defensive lines. However, we did get a couple of hints. First, picture 13 of the photo gallery suggests guard Kenny Wiggins may not be repping with the starters. As quarterbacks line up to take snaps out of the shotgun, Wiggins is clearly not part of the crew behind Matthew Stafford.
- In photo 16, Beau Benzschawel (wearing jersey 63) is to Wiggins’ left with less depth. Since Wiggins does not play tackle, Benzschawel is likely lined up at center for that rep. This would make sense given that Benzschawel was taking center reps towards the end of last season and the team’s only other backup center option Russell Bodine already opted out of the 2020 season.
- Halapoulivaati Vaitai is almost certainly playing right tackle. In photo 35, Vaitai is clearly seen on the right edge with what appears to be the first-team offense.
- Tom Kennedy made one hell of a catch. (Photo 21)
- Kerryon Johnson has still a brace on his right knee. (Photo 52) This is the same knee he injured and had a procedure for in the middle of last year. At this point, however, there is no reason to believe he’s re-injured it. Johnson returned to play after the injury last year, and was not placed on the injury list at the start of camp. It isn’t completely uncommon for players to continue to wear braces like this, but worth noting.
- Jeff Okudah has ups (Photo 62)
- Jamal Agnew is indeed playing receiver full time. In photo 29, you can see him making a catch in the end zone (miscaptioned as Kenny Golladay). How can I tell this isn’t a cornerback drill? He’s wearing a white jersey, as is the entire offense. Defense is in blue.
Check out the photo gallery for yourself here. Is there anything we missed?