Detroit Lions starting left tackle Taylor Decker was not out at practice during warmups and positional drills on Thursday. Decker was listed as limited on Wednesday’s injury report with a finger injury. The injury report for Thursday is expected to drop later this afternoon.
It’s unclear how serious this injury is at the moment, but if the Lions find themselves in a situation without their starting left tackle, it would obviously be a tough situation for them in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Both head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn have pointed to the 49ers’ pass rush—specifically Nick Bosa—as the first thing that pops out on tape.
“I think a guy that can be a game-breaker is Nick Bosa,” Lynn said on Thursday. “They do have (Arik) Armstead on the other side. That d-line is really the strength of this defense. Everything kind of falls into place after that. If they can get the rush they want, they can play coverage all day. Our protection plan is going to have to be tight.”
If Decker is unable to go, it’s unclear what the Lions’ plan would be. Do they move rookie Penei Sewell—who has been transitioning to right tackle all offseason—back to the left side and deal with Bosa in his first NFL game? Or do they slide in Matt Nelson, who has started just one NFL game, to the left and have him go toe-to-toe with Bosa?
Earlier on Thursday, the Lions signed offensive tackle Will Holden to their practice squad, seemingly as—at the very least—a precaution for Decker’s injury. Holden has started a total of seven games in his four-year career but has jumped around to seven different teams since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
We’ll likely know more about Decker’s situation on Friday, when head coach Dan Campbell is scheduled to meet with the media again.