It looked like that battle may already be down to just two players thanks to a quote from Gunther Cunningham in which he said Lewis is more of a middle linebacker:
“They’re all doing a pretty good job. I think Travis (Lewis) is helping us by being able to go back in the middle. He is probably more of a middle linebacker than an outside (linebacker). But Tahir (Whitehead) and Ashlee Palmer are both doing well as Travis is doing on the inside. We just got to get them in the games, and that’s when we’re going to go see the real situation. Whoever’s going to win the job will show up then.”
Easy as that? Not so fast.
Lewis is back getting some first team reps at outside linebacker.
So, what are we to make of the situation? First, it means the Lions are still sticking to their plan of giving all three men an equal chance of winning the job. While performance in practices are important in identifying an ultimate winner, game action will figure into the decision as well. For that reason we shouldn’t be surprised to see all three men hang in the competition through at least the first preseason game.
Second, it means that should Stephen Tulloch go down with an injury we can expect Travis Lewis to step in his place, even if that means sliding over from outside linebacker should he win the staring job there. That’s a contingency that needs to be planned for and that means Lewis needs practice reps.