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Discussion: What is your panic level about the offensive line?

The injuries to the Detroit Lions’ offensive line are adding up. How concerned are you with their line going forward?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions emerged from the weekend with a victory over the Atlanta Falcons, but they also walked away with more injuries to their offensive line.

Starting left tackle Taylor Decker and right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai were already ruled out of the Week 3 tilt before Sunday, leaving the Lions in a grim spot with their tackle depth (Vaitai being a former tackle could have swung outside in a pinch). With Penei Sewell swapping sides to fill in for Decker, it was Matt Nelson earning the start for a second-straight week. Nelson had largely been relegated to the role of sixth lineman, so these weeks were important for both Nelson and the Lions to prove their depth behind their star tackles.

Nelson had a decent Week 2 performance, but his follow-up outing was cut short with an ankle injury that immediately brought out the cart. That left practice squader and on-again, off-again Lion Dan Skipper as the next man up, a player just signed on September 20. Yet he too was soon hobbled by a hamstring injury, resulting in the third right tackle of the day: rookie Colby Sorsdal. Though a tackle in college, Sorsdal was repping at guard for most of training camp, logging just 12 snaps at right tackle in the third and final preseason game.

Though the Lions held the Falcons without a sack on the day, it was far from a smooth outing for Jared Goff. The Falcons recorded nine quarterback hits, and there were moments where Goff looked like the licks were taking a toll. In particular, a tough hit from Bud Dupree may have indirectly led to a Goff interception, as the quarterback’s ensuing passes were off the mark on what was an otherwise solid day.

The rushing attack was also hampered by the offensive line injuries. On paper, the Lions had a decent outing with rookie Jahmyr Gibbs totaling 80 yards on 17 carries. However, it was tough sledding for Gibbs for a sizable part of the game. Of Gibbs’ carries, 10 of them went for two yards or fewer. Gibbs is an explosive back, but running room was a rare commodity on Sunday.

The Lions entered the season with aspirations of being an elite offensive line, but injuries have dampened those dreams early on.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

What is your panic level about the offensive line?

My answer: My panic level is at a 3/5.

Losing Vaitai was a tough blow to the interior rushing attack, as he and Sewell were a stellar duo on the right side. Thankfully, Graham Glasgow is a more than capable replacement, though he isn’t the mauler that Vaitai can be.

However, the tackle depth is a legitimate concern going forward. It seems like Decker will return sooner than later, but there are very few reliable options behind him and Sewell. The Lions have a short week upcoming, which might be too quick of a turnaround for Decker, Nelson, and Skipper. That could mean Sorsdal getting his first career start on Thursday Night Football at Lambeau Field, a tough ask for the rookie from William & Mary.

The Lions are so reliant on their offensive line for their offense to click, from keeping Goff protected (and healthy) and the run game chugging along. If the injury bug continues to bite them, the Lions might have to turn to the bottom of their depth chart for help.

How concerned are you about the Lions offensive line? Let us know in the comments.


What is your panic level about the offensive line?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    1 - No panic
    (59 votes)
  • 19%
    (304 votes)
  • 30%
    (488 votes)
  • 37%
    (599 votes)
  • 9%
    5 - PANIC
    (147 votes)
1597 votes total Vote Now

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