The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have activated both offensive tackle Taylor Decker and defensive lineman Kevin Strong from injured reserve to the 53-man roster. That means both players are now eligible to play in the Lions’ next game after the bye week.
Getting Decker back would be huge for the Lions, as they’ve really struggled on the edge. Penei Sewell has played relatively well at left tackle in his rookie season, but Matt Nelson has struggled on the right side.
However, just because Decker has been activated doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be ready to play next Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Decker has not practiced in the past two weeks after suffering a setback to his finger when initially brought back to practice. Head coach Dan Campbell indicated that they may activate Decker before he’s ready to return, even if it requires him to take up a roster spot while still recovering from his finger injury.
“(If) we have the spot available—we’re not pressed to make a decision one way or another— yeah, we’d be open to that,” Campbell said last week.
Strong returns to a defensive line that also returned Da’Shawn Hand from injured reserve last week and is suddenly eight players deep. The defensive line has been fairly consistent all season but they’re coming off one of their worst outputs of the season. How they will split snaps moving forward will be something to keep an eye on, as the Lions have invested a lot of draft capital at the position.
The Lions had one open spot on the roster, but because they activated two players they needed to make one corresponding move. Detroit announced that move was releasing offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer, who was signed last week. The roster now sits at the maximum 53-players.