It’s not a huge surprise after two joint practices against them, but the Detroit Lions will rest many of their starters for Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Detroit Lions traveled to Indianapolis this week for two days of joint practices against the Colts, ahead of the second preseason game between the two teams on Saturday. In some respect those practice sessions are more intense and more valuable than the game will be, so it’s not too surprising when said teams rest players for that subsequent contest.
Colts head coach Frank Reich said most of his starters won’t play on Saturday. Before the second day of the joint practices on Thursday, Lions head coach Dan Campbell announced the same for his team.
Here’s a fuller quote from Campbell, via SI.com:
"I would say the plan right now is to, there’ll be a number of these guys that will not play in this game,” “You know, a number of our starters because they’re getting kind of a bulk of the reps and but there’ll be a number of guys that have gotten a load here that will still play in this game. Certainly we got a lot of battles still going on. But that would be the plan with us.”"
Second preseason game is an opportunity for some Detroit Lions
It’s pretty easy to tab which Lions won’t play against the Colts. Jared Goff demanded to play in the preseason opener against the Falcons when he originally wasn’t going to, so he’s sure to sit while David Blough and Tim Boyle continue their battle to be his backup.
Anyone else who’s locked into a starting job or a prominent role (ex: Jamaal Williams) for the Lions is also unlikely to play against the Colts, and anyone in those boats that does play won’t play much by the sound of it. In some cases, based on who’s rested or not and/or when they play, it may be interesting to see who the Lions’ coaching staff considers a starter.
The battles for roster spots and any competitions for starting jobs will take center stage for the Lions on Saturday, and those that are deemed to need game reps (Jeff Okudah?, Quintez Cephus?, etc.) will get them. But after two scrimmage-like practices the Lions and Colts are doing the smart thing to rest key players for a game that won’t mean anything, other than injury risk, for them.