Jim Caldwell announced yesterday that Lions left tackle Taylor Decker underwent shoulder surgery for an injury suffered in practice last week and that there is no time table for his return. Last season, as a rookie Decker was the best offensive lineman in a group that had vastly improved with his presence from 2015.
With the additions of Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang in the off-season, the line looked to be one of the teams strongest position groups. However with the injury to Decker, it’s unclear whether fans will be able to count on the line once again in 2017.
The ‘indefinitely’ tag to Decker’s recovery is a frustrating one. Hopefully news will break relatively soon on the expectation on when Decker will be able to return, as another DeAndre Levy situation in 2017 would be torturous for us fans. Obviously, we all hope Decker will be able to return for the season but if he misses all of training camp that would be unfortunate. Even though he played excellent in 2016, he’s still young and could use all the practice time he can get.
Now the question becomes who will replace Decker in the case that he cannot return for the 2017 season. According to some pictures snapped at OTA’s, Joe Dahl had been playing the left tackle position in team reps. The Lions also have tackle Corey Robinson, who played when Riley Reiff was injured at the end of last season. Both are sub-optimal options as Quinn may decide to make a move with a trade or a free-agent signing depending on the severity of the injury to Decker. King Dunlap and Ryan Clady are probably the best left tackles on the market currently.
Gosder Cherilus announced his retirement in March, but maybe the Lions could drag him back out to the city that drafted him for one last ride.
That was sarcasm.