This week was the first of OTA’s for the Detroit Lions and they got back in the groove to get ready for the 2016 season. There were some notable sightings and things that happened in the first week. We saw players get cut, news come out on other players, position changes and more. Check out the five things we learned from the first week of OTA’s.
1. Taylor Decker at Left Tackle
Taylor Decker was a left tackle at Ohio State and fans are hoping he could be the left tackle for Detroit. On the first day at OTA’s, Decker was lined up at left tackle and Riley Reiff was at right tackle. This is important to see, especially on the first day of OTA’s. Detroit sees him as the future left tackle and if he’s already starting to get in the groove at the position before Training Camp, he has a solid chance of getting that spot.
2. Ameer Abdullah Had Surgery in January, will miss OTA’s
News came out on Thursday that Ameer Abdullah had surgery in January to fix a torn labrum in his shoulder. He is expected to be back at training camp. Caldwell confirmed the surgery but didn’t get specific about the situation and if the injury occurred during the season. Caldwell did say that Abdullah was recovering nicely and “we’ll see” about when he would return to action. This gives Ridley, Zenner, Riddick, Winn and Washington more time to impress coaches and compete for playing time.
3. Lions Cut Tim Wright
After re-signing him a few months ago, Detroit has cut tight end Tim Wright. Now this doesn’t mean 100 percent that Wright is gone. He was waived with an injury designation, meaning if he doesn’t get claimed by any other team, he will return to Detroit, but will be on the IR list. He also has a chance to reach an injury settlement with the team and he could be released. With this news coming out, you bet there will be competition between Cole Wick, Matthew Mulligan and Adam Fuehne for that number three spot if Wright doesn’t return. Even if he does, and one of these tight ends can impress enough, Detroit could end up cutting Wright and sticking with one of these players.
4. DeAndre Levy is Healthy and Ready to Play
Now this shouldn’t really be news to anyone, but Levy participated in OTA’s and is looking to get back to his All-Pro form and he is 100 percent healthy this time around. He was lined up against Theo Riddick, one of the quickest players in the NFL, and Levy loved the challenge. “He’s real quick. First rep out there you line up against probably one of the quickest guys out of the backfield. There’s no better way to throw yourself right back in the fire,” said Levy. He did well in containing Riddick and these are the times for Levy to get back into the groove. 10 OTA practices, and the three day mini-camp are the best chances for someone like Levy to return to the field, shake off the rust and get back into what you once were.
5. Stafford Has Been Over Megatron Leaving for a While
One of the highlights coming out of the first week at OTA’s was Matt Stafford‘s response to a question about Calvin Johnson. A reporter asked him how quickly did Matthew Stafford turn the page on Calvin Johnson’s time in Detroit, Stafford fired back with “Apparently quicker than you guys.” Stafford seems to have been over Megatron retiring and has been ready to play without him for a while, as the media keeps bringing it up; you can find many articles now about how the Lions offense will change because of no Megatron, or how Stafford might not be the same. You can find tons of articles about both sides of the situation and Stafford seems to think it is something in the past, while everyone else in the media wants to act like it’s still going on.