In the preseason opener, the Detroit Lions rested a majority of their starters, including Jared Goff, the entire starting offensive line, the top wideouts, and just about every projected defensive starter short of a few rookies. After a week of joint practices, the team felt there was little need for their top players to risk injury in the game.
It sounds like it will be more of the same this week for the Lions roster, except even more players may be sitting against the Jacksonville Jaguars for Saturday’s game.
“Another reason we do these (joint practices) is that I feel like you’ve got two great days of work, banked a lot of reps, and so I don’t see us playing these starters this week. I don't’ see it,” Campbell told Stoney and Jansen on 97.1 The Ticket Thursday morning. “We’re going to sit that core group again, and let some of these young guys go. There may be a few select rookies we don’t play. We’ll see where we’re at there as well. But I think that’s the benefit of having this (joint practice session). We have over 40 reps yesterday.”
The Lions will get another big workload of reps on Thursday as the Lions and Jaguars face off for their second day of joint practices. After a couple sessions with the New York Giants last week, the Lions starters have already gotten more playing time against opponents than they would during a normal preseason.
That said, there are some things that happen in preseason games—like live tackling, game-day routines—that can’t be fully replicated in joint practices. However, that doesn’t seem to be a major concern for Campbell.
With no joint practices next week in the lead up to the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers, it will be interesting to see if any of the starters get their feet wet in that game before the regular season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, which is now just three weeks away.