Another Detroit Lions offensive lineman will miss several games to start the season. On Thursday afternoon, the team announced that reserve guard Tommy Kraemer is headed to injured reserve after suffering a back injury that has held him out of practice following the team’s final preseason game. He will not be eligible to return until Week 7 vs. the Dallas Cowboys.
Kraemer was expected to be the team’s primary backup at right guard—a position it turns out they drastically needed when starter Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a back injury in the preseason finale that required surgery and has since sent him to IR. But now the Lions have turned to Logan Stenberg to fill the position for the time being.
Coach Dan Campbell and offensive line coach Hank Fraley both praised Stenberg’s performance in the Week 1 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, despite some early struggles in the game.
“At the end of the day, overall it was positive,” Campbell said this week. “It was a positive showing by Stenberg. Inside of the positive showing was ups and downs, alright. But overall, I thought there was more good than there was not so good, so it’s definitely something to build off of.”
“He handled his own,” Fraley said. “There’s a lot to learn when you’re in there. It’s the real thing. It’s different tempo than preseason now. It’s different with the first line, first defense across from you, and guys like Fletcher Cox and all those guys, they’re good players.”
To help build out their depth at the position, the Lions confirmed the signing of guard Kayode Awosika, who was acquired from the Eagles’ practice squad. As we wrote up in Wednesday’s story, Awosika is a 2021 undrafted prospect who has played multiple positions and shown promise in the preseason but has only made one regular season appearance, playing 43 snaps at right guard late in the year.
The Lions’ offensive line is currently going through a lot of injuries. In addition to Vaitai and Kraemer on IR, Frank Ragnow (groin) and Taylor Decker (calf) missed Wednesday’s practice, while starting left guard Jonah Jackson was limited with a finger injury.