The Detroit Lions will open the 2021 season at home against the San Francisco 49ers, per ESPN’s Field Yates. The game will officially kick off the Dan Campbell era in Detroit, hopefully in front of a home audience for the first time since 2019. It will be at the normal 1 p.m. ET slot and televised on FOX.
The 49ers are coming off a disappointing 6-10 season marred by injuries. However, expectations are far higher for 2021, as they are not only expected to be healthier, but they also have a new franchise quarterback in Trey Lance, who was drafted third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
At this point, it’s far too early to know if the 49ers will start Lance. Many believe he’ll be best served to sit for some time while San Francisco trots out Jimmy Garoppolo early in the season. However, if Lance starts, it will be another year in which the Lions have to face a rookie quarterback in their first career game. Detroit has a shaky history of dealing with that, whether it was Kyler Murray in 2019 (tie), Sam Darnold in 2018 (loss) or Matt Ryan in 2008 (loss).
This will be the third time in four years the Lions have opened the season at home.