Lions left tackle Taylor Decker missed the first eight games of last season with a finger injury, so the Lions know what it’s like to play without their longtime starter and they know that they’d like to avoid doing it in the future.
That’s why Decker has been on the sideline at OTAs. Decker hurt his foot in Week 18 in January and it dealing with some residual issues that arose while rehabbing the injury. Head coach Dan Campbell said on Thursday that Decker could play in a game right now, but the Lions won’t be playing one for more than three months and they are taking it easy with Decker as a result.
“I’ve said it before with other issues I’ve had, when you’re not out there, it’s nauseating,” Decker said, via Benjamin Raven of MLive.com. “Of course, I want to be out there. It’s just kind of a be smart, maintenance thing. I’m talking with the training staff and the coaches right now. So hopefully, come time for camp, it’s ‘No issues, hit the ground running, you’re good to go.’ And that’s the game plan, and that’s what it’s trending towards. If there was a game, 100 percent I would play. Basically, the opinion I got was it’s something that’s going to get better. It’s just kind of a pain in the ass that will take a little time. Just being smart about it right now. Like I said, when it comes time to the bullets are flying, and we’ve got to really play, it’s not even a thought.”
Center Frank Ragnow is due back from his season-ending injury and the Lions have 2021 first-round pick Penei Sewell at right tackle on an offensive line that showed promise last season. Having Decker healthy from the start of the year should help them fulfill that promise this time around.