Taylor Decker’s Return Must Turn Offensive Line Into A Wall

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Taylor Decker’s Return Is Approaching As He Could Be Taken Off PUP.

2017 was supposed to be a different season for the Detroit Lions. They improved their linebacker core with rookie Jarrad Davis. Their running game should be improved with Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah returning from injuries last season. Their receiving core got younger with Anquan Boldin leaving, and Kenny Golladay coming in. Most importantly the offensive line was supposed to be better with TJ Lang at right guard, and Rick Wagner at right tackle, a wall is what they were getting compared too.

Well, that wall is cracked and leaking.

Matt Stafford, the quarterback of the team and the highest paid player in the NFL is getting his ass kicked, getting sacked 23 times through the six games the Lions have played, putting him on pace for the most sacks he has taken with 50. So whats the issue? Things started off poorly when starting left tackle Taylor Decker tore his labrum in his right shoulder, forcing him to get surgery and miss time and start the season on the PUP list. Detroit traded for Greg Robinson and he has been the starter since week one.

With the bye week approaching, Taylor Decker is close to returning from his injury. The team has two choices right now. Either they can keep him on PUP for the next six weeks until they are ready to return if the player doesn’t return within those six weeks, he remains on the PUP for the rest of the season, overall a different type of IR.

The other option is to take them off the PUP list and they have 21 days to finalize a decision. They can cut the player, do nothing and keep him on the PUP, or play him. Detroit is on a bye week this week and that is affecting if Decker is released off the PUP list. There has been no update on when Decker will get off the PUP list, but for now, he still hasn’t practiced and Detroit needs him badly.

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Graham Glasgow Could Use Some Help On The Left Side

Going into the season, Glasgow was the worst starting offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions. With Decker out, the left side looked even weaker. He has been between Travis Swanson and Robinson, and while Swanson has an average year, the man to his left is a walking traffic cone.

When Decker returns, Glasgow’s play will get better and the left side can become a better side to run on and give Stafford more protection. Glasgow has had three holding calls this season and has only allowed one sack, doing better than what some were expecting.

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T.J. Lang and Travis Swanson Lead The Pack

Swanson has had a roller-coaster career in Detroit. Coming in as a backup, moving to starter where he looked average. Then got worse, looking lost, to looking like a solid contributor to the offensive line, down to above average. While he hasn’t allowed a sack so far this season and only getting one holding call he has been having poor snaps and getting pushed back more than normal. Still, he has been better than a majority of the line.

The other big help has been T.J. Lang from Green Bay. While he missed the Saints game, he has been well on the right guard position, getting called for two holding penalties and not allowing a sack. After getting an extra week of rest, Lang should be back and ready to go against the Steelers.

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Greg Robinson And Rick Wagner Need To Improve Greatly

The biggest problems have been at both tackle positions. Everyone seems to point the finger at Robinson, and while he has deserved the scrutiny, Wagner deserves the same. Robinson has been poor at left tackle, and with leaving the Saints game with an injury and seen in a boot, things aren’t looking up for Detroit at the position unless Decker returns for the Steelers game.

Robinson has a false start and one holding call, but his biggest gripe is sacks allowed and that number is 5.5 through six games. That is just under one a game, unacceptable for the most important tackle on the offensive line.

You know what also isn’t acceptable? Paying a right tackle big money and having him do almost just as poorly as a former second overall pick that is getting labeled as a bust.

Wagner has two holding calls on him this season and has allowed five sacks. Detroit was looking to upgrade the right tackle position in free agency and with the money they paid Wagner, and with his most sacks in a season allowed at two and a half before coming to Detroit, things looked great. Now it looks like a possible mistake by Bob Quinn.

Robinson can’t be blamed for Wagner’s struggles. Even with Decker returning soon, Detroit still has an issue at right tackle, something they thought they fixed in free agency.

Bob Quinn was called Bob the Builder with him building this “wall” of offensive lineman by getting Lang and Wagner to Detroit to protect Stafford. This “wall” isn’t what we were promised. It’s crumbling. It’s giving in. Bob the Builder Quinn has something he has to fix and it has to be soon or this teams season will be shattered like the wall he built and the general he tried to protect.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.