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Week 2 Detroit Lions Bubble Watch: Winners, losers on offense

A look at the players that helped and hurt their cases in Week 1 of training camp

NFL: DEC 22 Lions at Broncos Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Through one week of Detroit Lions training camp, one this is abundantly clear. The Lions are going to have to make some seriously tough choices when it comes to their offensive skill players. Their wide receiver corps is not only good at the top, but it’s got a decent amount of depth to it, too. The running backs are extremely athletic and could be matchup nightmares for opposing defense, but injuries across the board further complicate the team’s need for someone reliable.

However the Lions decide to manage their skill position players could have a huge impact on the rest of the roster. If they decide to keep an extra running back, what does that mean for the fullback position? If they load up on wide receivers, do the Lions take that extra spot from an offensive lineman or even a quarterback?

We asked our Pride of Detroit staff to make some of those tough decisions this week, as Bubble Watch Week 2 is here, tracking the trends of the Lions’ offensive players.

Here’s who we think is in and who is out after one week of training camp practices.

Bubble Watch Week 2: Offense

Player Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Andrew Kato Mansur Shaheen John Whiticar Change
Player Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Andrew Kato Mansur Shaheen John Whiticar Change
QB David Blough OUT OUT OUT OUT IN IN OUT IN -3
RB Jason Huntley IN OUT IN OUT IN IN IN IN +1
RB Ty Johnson IN IN IN IN OUT IN OUT OUT +1
RB Bo Scarbrough OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT N/A
RB Jonathan Williams IN OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT IN N/A
FB Nick Bawden OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 0
TE Hunter Bryant OUT OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT -1
WR Marvin Hall IN IN IN IN IN OUT IN IN +1
WR Jamal Agnew IN IN IN IN OUT IN OUT OUT 0
WR Quintez Cephus IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 0
G Oday Aboushi OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT -1
G Beau Benzschawel OUT OUT OUT IN IN IN IN IN -2
OT Dan Skipper OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN IN IN 0
OT Matt Nelson OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT -1

New to Bubble Watch:

Trending up: RB Jonathan Williams

Williams was signed by the team last Monday to help mitigate some of the injury concerns and give the Lions another power back to compete for a roster spot. Thanks to a beat-up running back corps in Week 1 of training camp Williams has gotten significant playing time and has looked somewhat comfortable.

Trending down: Bo Scarbrough

After an early injury, Scarbrough has missed several practices in a row now, and with legitimate competition in Williams, his roster spot no longer looks anywhere near safe.

Rising up:

RB Jason Huntley (+1 from last week) - Huntley is another player who has benefitted from the injury situation at running back. Though he’s still mostly repping with the second team offense, he’s really shined during one-on-one drills, where he’s been consistently leaving linebackers in the dust.

RB Ty Johnson (+1) - Johnson has essentially split first-team carries with Kerryon Johnson while D’Andre Swift deals with an undisclosed injury. That alone has to be promising for Johnson, and like Huntley, he’s really shined in route-running drills vs. the linebacking crew.

WR Marvin Hall (+1) - Hall has had a relatively quiet camp, but our staff still believes his spot is quite safe. Only one writer has him on the outside looking in, as he fights for a roster spot against the likes of Jamal Agnew.

Falling down:

QB David Blough (-3) - Blough’s decline here likely has less to do with how he’s looked at training camp—he’s actually looked much improved from his performance last year—and more to do with managing the team’s roster spots. With as many offensive weapons as the Lions have, it’s beginning to look like QB3 may be too much of a luxury. However, will COVID cause teams to be a little more careful with their quarterback depth?

G Beau Benzschawel (-2) - Benzschawel has still yet to log any team reps, but at least he’s back on the field. With rookie Logan Stenberg currently filling the backup center role, Benzschawel is beginning to look more and more expendable. Still, five of eight staffers have him still in.

G Oday Aboushi (-1) - The veteran guard may simply fall victim to the numbers game. With all the additions they made on the interior offensive line this offseason, the Lions probably can’t afford to keep both Aboushi and Kenny Wiggins. At this point, the Lions have shown a clear preference to Wiggins, so there is only one staffer remaining that has Aboushi on the final roster.

TE Hunter Bryant (-1) - Bryant has actually made a very good case for himself in training camp, but the injury he suffered on Saturday really took the wind out of his sails. Missed time for an undrafted rookie this time of year is a huge problem, especially for a position that requires so much adjustment to the NFL level of play.

OT Matt Nelson (-1) - Nelson no longer has any backers on our staff. It’s still unclear if the Lions have any plans to keep a fourth tackle on the roster, as only three of our writers have Dan Skipper landing a spot. Nelson has the tougher road, as he’s still transitioning from a defensive role in college, but the outlook is poor for both.

No change:

FB Nick Bawden - I am the only one skeptical of Bawden’s value to the team now that Detroit has decided to move Jason Cabinda to fullback in Bawden’s injury-related absence during team drills. Bawden has had an injury-filled career and has yet to prove much on the field. Cabinda at least is out there and looks mildly comfortable.

WR Jamal Agnew - The staff remains relatively split (5 in, 3 out) on Agnew. He’s only really helped his case in camp, as no one has emerged as competition for his punt return job, and he looks comfortable in that slot receiver role. It may simply come down to preference here: five wide receivers or six?

WR Quintez Cephus - All eight staffers still believe Cephus is in, and he may just come off the bubble entirely next week. He’s shown he’s clearly a step above the rest of the Lions’ second and third team in practice last week, and he seems destined for some kind of future role in this offense.

OT Dan Skipper - As previously mentioned, Skipper likely has the best chance to be the team’s fourth offensive tackle... but are they going to bother keeping one?