OTAs are underway for the Detroit Lions and so far, all we’ve been able to see is the same thing everyone else has seen: videos and pictures on social media. On Thursday, the media will be able to go out and see what’s happening on the field. For the first time, we’ll have a chance to get the answers to some of our burning questions. Here’s some things that we’re hoping to see.
Will Jahmyr Gibbs be active?
All we know right now is that the Lions first draft pick got hurt during the rookie minicamp. Lions assistant general manager Ray Agnew called it a “tweak” and suggested it wasn’t serious.
“No big issue,” Agnew said. “He’ll be fine. We’re just being safe with him.”
However, scouring since that injury, Gibbs hasn’t been in any photo galleries or highlights from the ensuing minicamp and OTA practices. In fact, the only sign of Gibbs since that injury last Friday is him in the background of an OTA highlight clearly not participating.
Found him! And looks like no practice for Gibbs yesterday pic.twitter.com/67Z6HNNCBZ— Meko Scott (@meko2789) May 24, 2023
Will we see him out there on Thursday? Or will the Lions decide to save him until training camp starts in July?
Who’s playing guard?
Things are really early in the process for the Lions. We don’t know who they will trout out to play right guard on Week 1. But we might be able to at least see who the Lions like in that spot at this point in the process. We’ll get to see if Halapoulivaati Vaitai is healthy enough to start—and if he’s even considered the starter—-or if the returning Graham Glasgow will be there with the first team.
In addition to that, we’ll get to see if rookie Colby Sorsdal is lining up at guard already and if there’s anyone else on the current roster that the Lions are planning to try out there.
What does Jameson Williams look like out there?
This is the first time we’re seeing Jameson Williams in this type of situation. Williams was healing up from a torn ACL at this time last year and that wound up bleeding over into training camp as well.
Now that he’s expected to be a large part of this team’s offense, we’ll get to see exactly what that looks like for the first time. Is he going to be out there running at top speed? Will we get to see a deep shot or two? Will the Lions put him in situations to gain a ton of YAC? There’s a lot of eagerness to glean anything about Williams at OTAs.
The new secondary
This is essentially a brand new group and they’ve all never played together before. It’s going to be interesting to see if any chemistry has been formed so far. Along with that, It would be nice to see if anyone’s taken on a leadership role this early into things. The expectation is that Tracy Walker or Cameron Sutton could take on a role like that. C.J. Gardner-Johnson has said he’s already been chirping at practice. That could be fun to see.
Speaking of Gardner-Johnson, what position will he be playing exactly? Is he going to be in the slot or will he be at safety? Maybe he’ll be in some sort of dual role. The same goes with second-round pick Brian Branch. There are a lot of similarities between him and Gardner-Johnson when it comes to versatility.
Will Calvin Johnson be there again?
Maybe a long shot that he’ll be there two days in a row, but Calvin Johnson did show up to OTAs on Wednesday. The relationship between him and the Lions continues to get better and better. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see that in person.
Jared Goff’s chemistry with his guys
We know that Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown have a good chemistry together. We’ve seen it plenty of times. Other than him, there are a lot of new faces in town. We’re going to be looking to see how well Goff works with Jameson Williams, Sam LaPorta, Marvin Jones Jr., Antione Green, and possibly Jahmyr Gibbs.
Will he favor anyone? Will we see some stuff we haven’t seen enough of from Goff? Will his deep throws be more on target with a guy like Williams? Will he get picked off or will he look sharper than ever? It’s year two for him in this system. Will we get a glimpse of an even better Jared Goff?
Will the Lions show us anything?
This is a time to get loosened up and get used to going through the motions again. For the young players, it’s a chance to learn the basics of a new system. I’m sure there will be some new stuff being worked on out there, but will we actually get to see any of it or will the Lions be totally vanilla? There’s a solid chance that it’ll be the latter. Hopefully we’ll get some of our questions answered, but there’s probably going to be a lot of stuff that we’ll have to wait until August to see.