Calvin Johnson and the offense get a lot of attention, but the biggest difference for Detroit this year is on defense.
The Lions are second in the league in turnovers and have played against the pass very well despite a relatively slow start to the year from Ndamukong Suh. That defense could look even better Monday night with the return of two key players.
Starting linebacker Justin Durant, who has been a good run defender for the team, was back at practice Thursday. He’s passed all his post-concussion tests and looks ready to go. Bobby Carpenter started for him last week.
Rookie first round pick Nick Fairley will make his NFL debut, according to Michael C. Wright of the ESPNChicago.com. The Lions won’t confirm Fairley’s status and it’s unlikely he’ll play a huge role in his first game. Fairley missed the entire preseason with a foot injury.