On Monday, before the announcement that the Detroit Lions’ season finale against the Green Bay Packers has been flexed to “Sunday Night Football,” coach Dan Campbell was asked if he wanted the national spotlight in primetime. He was indifferent.
“Listen, I don’t care. I just want to play,” Campbell said, perhaps channeling his inner former player. “So, it’s coming, and it’ll be down the wire and they’ll be there, we’ll be there. And it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be an exciting game.”
It was a much different reaction from the players. While we haven’t had the opportunity to speak to players since the announcement, many went to social media—all of them expressing excitement for the opportunity to be on a national stage, even if it means knowing they may only be playing as a spoiler.
First up is Taylor Decker, who after the team’s win over the Bears on Sunday, was hoping the team would get the Sunday night game.
“I hope it gets flexed to Sunday night,” Decker said. “I really hope it does because that is a historic stadium, historic franchise, in the division—a divisional opponent. I mean, what else could you want? [...] You want the challenge. You want all eyes on you when you’re going to rise up and try to beat that challenge.”
Here’s how he reacted on social media when the news dropped:
Under the LIGHTSSSSS— Taylor Decker (@__taylordecker) January 2, 2023
On the other side of the line, defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs, who has emerged as a leader on the team, also seems pretty excited for the opportunity to be on the national stage.
For a guy like cornerback Jerry Jacobs, this will be his first opportunity to start on primetime television at the NFL level.
Sunday Night PrimeTime Game it don’t get no better than this‼️— Jerry Jacobs (@_luhjerry) January 2, 2023
Veteran Alex Anzalone has seen and played in some big games during his time with the Saints, but even he can recognize the gravity of this opportunity to close out the NFL regular season schedule:
Lions safety DeShon Elliott has missed the last two weeks with a shoulder injury, and on Monday, coach Dan Campbell was non-committal about his availability this week. But it’s clear that if it’s up to Elliott, he’s playing: