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Detroit Lions veterans, rookies practice together for first time

On Monday, the Detroit Lions rookies and veterans shared for the field for the first time during the 2023 offseason.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Monday marked an important day in the 2023 Detroit Lions’ offseason schedule. For the first time since April’s draft, the Lions rookie class shared the same field with veterans.

With rookie minicamp coming to a close on Sunday, the team continued their voluntary offseason workout program. Prior to rookie minicamp, it had only been veterans participating, but now with rookies officially reporting last week, the whole gang was together, as evidenced by the photo gallery the team shared on Monday afternoon.

(Note: Monday’s practice was not open to the media)

The Lions are currently in Phase Two of the offseason. With Phase Three (OTAs) still a week away, teams can currently do on-field workouts for individual and team drills. There is no live contact or offense vs. defense drills allowed yet. That begins with OTAs next week, where we’ll see some 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, but with no live contact or tackling.

Still, Monday’s practice was significant as the team’s rookies finally brushed shoulders with the veterans who are expected to help guide them through their first season in the NFL. For example, Lions fifth-round pick Colby Sorsdal expressed his excitement last week about playing alongside a group of talented offensive linemen.

“To come in here and learn—and like I said, I love to learn,” Sorsdal said. “I love to get better at what I do. To have this kind of group, be surrounded with this much talent, it’s special. You can kind of feel it in the room, saying, hey, you gotta earn your keep here because this is a special group.”

Second-round pick Brian Branch also expressed an eagerness to learn from Detroit’s revamped secondary.

“I plan to soak it all in when, I think next week, is when the veterans—like when we start doing OTAs and stuff like that,” Branch said. “And just asking them questions, and really just soaking it all in.”

NOTES: A few injury updates based on the photo gallery provided by the Lions: After missing Saturday’s minicamp practice, it looks like Branch was participating on Monday. Third-round pick Brodric Martin was not wearing a sleeve anymore after suffering a minor arm injury on Saturday. Veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai was also spotted on the field, suggesting he may be fully healed from his back surgery. Still no sign of first-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, though, after he suffered an ankle “tweak” on Friday.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.