Five reasons to watch Lions training camp closer this year

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions took the field for the first official practice on Monday. Here’s why I’m paying closer attention to training camp this year.

During a typical season, training camp and preseason games don’t rank very high on my Detroit Lions to-do list. After all, even an obsessive fandom has its limits.

However, as the Lions finally take to the field for this year’s much-abbreviated preseason, I’m finding this one to be an exception. The Lions are live-streaming training camp this year and posting extended video of the stream to YouTube, and it’s safe to say that I’ll be tuning in quite a bit more than usual for this edition of camp.

For anyone on the fence about whether it’s worth it to do the same, here’s what you have to gain. Why should Lions fans watch camp closely this year?

Reason #1: Matthew Stafford is throwing again

The end of last season is the final argument for why true Lions fans should never take Matthew Stafford for granted again.

After the last nine months–the injury, seeing him on the sidelines as the weeks ticked down, the annual offseason swirling of nonsense trade rumors, a COVID scare two weeks ago–watching our franchise quarterback take the field in any capacity is a welcome sight.

He was wearing a red jersey, there wasn’t any defense, and he was moving at about 55% intensity during what I watched of the practice, but Stafford’s capacity to bounce back is the first and last factor on whether the Lions can do the same.