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Lions considering multiple OL combinations with Taylor Decker’s status in doubt

If the Lions starting left tackle Taylor Decker is unable to play in Week 2, Detroit has a few options on how to replace him.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker injured his ankle in Week 1 during the team’s victory over the Chiefs. And while Decker managed to play through the injury in Kansas City, he left Missouri in a walking boot and has not been able to practice in the ensuing eight days.

When speaking to the media on Friday, coach Dan Campbell did not seem optimistic about Decker’s availability for the Lions Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

“Deck, he’s a little less than questionable,” Campbell noted. “We’ll just see where he’s at tomorrow (Saturday). He is getting better, so that’s all encouraging.”

Getting better is indeed encouraging, but the odds still seem stacked against the left tackle playing in the Ford Field home opener. Campbell went on to say that he was not ruling Decker out of playing on Sunday.

“I think there’s a chance, I think it’s more of an outside shot,” Campbell said.

If Decker is unable to play, the Lions have several options to consider in replacing him. Two seasons ago—when Decker was on injured reserve with an injured finger—the Lions shifted right tackle Penei Sewell to left tackle and elevated Matt Nelson to the starting right tackle spot.

While that option seems to once again be one of the simplest solutions, Campbell noted that the Lions are experimenting with even more options in an attempt to get the best five offensive linemen on the field at the same time.

“We’ve worked a couple of different combinations,” Campbell detailed. “We’ve really done three different things. We’ve kept Sewell over there (at RT). We’ve had (Halapoulivaati) Vaitai move (to LT). We’ve moved Sewell (to LT). We’ve had Vaitai out (at RT), (Graham) Glasgow in (at RG). So we’re going to continue messing with that today, and then we’ll see. The beauty is we’ve got options we feel pretty good about. Certainly, Nelson’s involved in all that as well.”

For the more visual fan, here are the three projected potential scenarios based on Campbell’s explanations:

Expect the Lions to keep this information close to the vest and we may not know their exact plans until warm-ups on game day.

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