With season ending injuries to both Kerry Hyder and Brandon Copeland, it’s time to really assess this defensive line.
In the second quarter in Indianapolis, Kerry Hyder had to be carted off the field. He went down on a pass rush and injured his Achilles. Hyder will have to miss the entire season, which is a gut punch for the Lions. Hyder was signed right before the Lions last pre-season game last year and came out of nowhere to lead the team in sacks last year with eight. He provides versatility along the defensive line, something the Lions will lack with his absence.
Brandon Copeland entered the game as Hyder’s replacement, then he tore his pec and also will be out for the year. This puts the Lions in quite a bind, and looking at the defensive end spot on the team is quite nauseating. Currently, the two Lions slated to start at D-End Ziggy Ansah and Cornelius Washington have yet to even practice. Anthony Zettel had a great game and I’m excited about his upcoming season, however if the season were to start tomorrow Zettel and 7th round rookie Patrick O’Connor would be your starting ends.
As for anyone the Lions could sign, I would be all for having Bob Quinn kick the tires on Mario Williams. He’s fallen out of favor in both Buffalo and Miami, but at this point the Lions have no room to be picky. Former Jaguar Jared Odrick is also available.
Despite the weak outsides I think this team is strong up the middle. I have a feeling that this will be Ngata’s last year and that he’s going to put his everything into it. A’Shawn Robinson looked absolutely dominant and hopefully he will continue to build on his successful rookie campaign. I also liked what I saw out of Akeem Spence, who will be a nice depth guy on the interior for the Lions this year.
The Lions need an influx of talent at the DE spot and it frankly only puts more importance on the return of Ansah and his upcoming contract situation.