A Preview Of The Detroit Lions Pre-season Matchup Against The New York Jets.
Following a promising opening performance against the Colts last week in Indianapolis, the Lions will host the New York Jets at Ford Field. The Jets are coming off a 5-11 season and look to be in full rebuild mode heading into the 2017 season.
While pre-season games typically are not about winning or stat production, they are a great evaluation tool for coaches and general managers to help narrow down their team to their final 53-man rosters. Last week, I wrote about the matchups that would be good to evaluate in this game.
Players like Ameer Abdullah, TJ Lang, and Teez Tabor were highlighted as players to watch in this game from an evaluation perspective. However, there is a positional battle to watch against the Jets, as the Lions are building their depth chart and preparing for roster cuts in the coming weeks.
Injury Woes And The Battle For Defensive End Snaps
The Detroit Lions have been very forward with their “next man up” mentality under head coach Jim Caldwell. With Kerry Hyder‘s season officially over, the Lions defensive end group will have to find their next man up to replace their top sack producer from last season. Hyder is not the only loss at the position either. Armonty Bryant will miss the first four games of the season due to suspension and Brandon Copeland may be gone for the year with a torn pec injury.
While Cornelius Washington may end up the week one starter at the left end position for the Lions, it is important to remember they heavily rotate their defensive line. Players like Anthony Zettel, Pat O’ Connor, Jerimiah Valoaga, and Alex Barrett will all be competing for these snaps, with injuries piling up for the Lions.
The window is closing for the Detroit Lions to figure out who will be the featured in their defensive end rotation. In this weekend’s game against the Jets, this battle will likely be a hard fought one. How each player does in this game will have a big impact on their depth in the defensive end rotation and whether or not they make the team.