The Detroit Lions and Jim Schwartz don’t really like talking about depth charts but with just a few days remaining until the 2013 preseason opener, the team released one last night.
It is considered unofficial but with a number of battles for starting jobs and playing time underway, it has to have at least some important things to say.
The depth chart confirms the reports from practice that Patrick Edwards is looking like the team’s fourth receiver. Edwards is listed as the number two behind Nate Burleson while Ryan Broyles is listed as the receiver behind Calvin Johnson. There has been some buzz about Mike Thomas getting buried in practice but he is holding on to a third-team spot along with Kris Durham.
I get the sense most fans will be disappointed if Larry Warford doesn’t win the starting job. He is reportedly working hard and holding his own but his first-team reps have been limited and he shows up behind Dylan Gandy and Jake Scott on the depth chart.
Based on this depth chart, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen is the favorite to start the year as the team’s fourth DT.
Here is where things get really interesting. With DeAndre Levy locked in as one starter, Ashlee Palmer is listed as the first-teamer at the other OLB spot with Tahir Whitehead backing him up. To find Travis Lewis on the depth chart you have to look at MLB where he is listed behind Stephen Tulloch. This isn’t too surprising considering Gunther Cunningham said earlier in the week that Lewis is more of a middle linebacker than an outside linebacker. However, Lewis was still getting reps on the outside so there wasn’t any real evidence to suggest he has dropped out of the race to start at outside linebacker. Is this the evidence we need? Maybe, but more likely this depth chart speaks to the plan the Lions will take in to Friday’s game to give Palmer and Whitehead the primary looks at OLB. Maybe Lewis’ chance comes in game two.
Ron Bartell continues to hold on to a starting spot while Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood apparently aren’t having their standings hurt too bad by missing time with hamstring injuries. Both Green and Greenwood are listed as third-teamers.
Sam Martin and David Akers were good bets to win jobs and that looks on track with both checking in as first at punter and kicker respectively. Micheal Spurlock checks in as the first kick and punt returner. Reggie Bush’s name does not appear anywhere on the punt returner depth chart.