Thursday morning started with a bit of shocking news via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Per his sources, Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery and left tackle Taylor Decker are not expected to play on Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.
“There was some optimism early in the week, but I am told Montgomery (is) not expected to play tonight,” Pelissero said on “Good Morning Football” Thursday morning.
UPDATE: Justin Rogers of The Detroit News is reporting that Pelissero’s information is incorrect. Rogers tweeted out the following:
“I’ve been informed by a team source that Decker and Montgomery will suit up tonight and the NFL Network report from this morning is incorrect.”
UPDATE 2: Pelissero is now admitting he got the report wrong.
Correction: #Lions RB David Montgomery and LT Taylor Decker ARE playing tonight against the #Packers. CB Emmanuel Moseley is NOT playing.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 28, 2023
There was a miscommunication, and I will just have to eat this one. I apologize for the error.
This runs in stark contrast to comments made by both Lions coach Dan Campbell and the players themselves.
“I feel like probably the two that are trending the most positive right now would be Decker and D-Mo,” Campbell said on Tuesday. “Those are the two I’m starting to feel pretty good about.”
Decker, in particular, seemed pretty confident in his chances to play this week through a high ankle sprain and a bone bruise.
“It’s going to hurt, but as long as I can be functional, I can deal with the pain,” Decker said on Monday. “I’ve done it plenty of times before. I’m confident I can go out there and help us win, so it’ll be fun being back out there with everybody.”
If Decker is indeed inactive for this game, it puts the Lions’ offensive tackle situation in serious peril. Backup Matt Nelson suffered a serious ankle injury last week and will be placed on injured reserve, and his backup—Dan Skipper—also left the game early with a hamstring injury. Skipper’s condition is currently unknown, as he reverted back to the practice squad after the game and was not required to be included on the injury report.
If Skipper isn’t healthy enough to play, the Lions will likely rely on fifth-round rookie Colby Sorsdal to start at right tackle. Sorsdal has been practicing at guard since the Lions drafted him, but he played tackle in college. Beyond them, the Lions literally have no depth at tackle, so expect them to promote either undrafted rookie Connor Galvin or Max Pircher.
As for Montgomery, while he is a key part to what the Lions want to do in the running game, Detroit managed fine without him last week against the Atlanta Falcons. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs took the majority of the workload and finished with 80 rushing yards on 17 carries.
In a bit of positive—and also unexpected—news, Pelissero is reporting that Emmanuel Moseley is expected to make his 2023 Lions debut, bolstering the Lions secondary. Earlier in the week, Campbell suggested that when Moseley is ready, they will ease him into the lineup, sharing time with Jerry Jacobs.
“That will be the plan is work him in and I think more than anything, it’ll be by series,” Campbell said. “Certainly, give him a couple in a row there to where he gets a good feel and I think most of it will be – we’ll more a governor on his reps so that we’re smart about that as he comes back.”
UPDATE: Pelissero has rescinded his original report and Moseley is now expected to miss Thursday.