Between Saturday and Monday, Lions defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs missed practice with an illness, fueled speculation with a tweet and was benched for Thursday night's season opener against the Chiefs.
About the aforementioned social media activity, which included scrubbing references to the Lions, Buggs essentially said "nothing to see here" when reporters gathered around him on Monday. He also mentioned how they (Lions' coaches) were straight forward with him about his benching.
Sometimes, we can find hidden meaning in head coach Dan Campbell's words. Most often though, he won't pull punches and he'll say exactly what he thinks. And there were signs trust in Buggs was eroding, as Benito Jones encroached on his first-team reps at nose tackle late in training camp and he played pretty deep into the preseason finale.
Dan Campbell offers forthright, straight forward explanation for why Isaiah Buggs was benched
Campbell spoke to the media on Tuesday morning, and what went into the decision to bench Buggs (rather than just demote him) was an automatic topic.
Via MLive's Kyle Meinke, Campbell had a simple explanation for the move.
"We base everything off the tape, period,” “I’ve spoken to Buggs, and that stays between us. But yeah, we feel like the guys (that are) the best prepared to go this week for this game, those are the guys that will be up.”"- Dan Campbell
But the benching, as expected and Buggs more or less said himself, is an opportunity to work harder in practice and get back into the lineup. Campbell is not writing off a player he praised highly not that long ago.
"Absolutely,” Campbell said, “and he’s been told that. But it’s no different than honestly any of these players, and that includes practice-squad players. We tell ‘em, ‘You have an opportunity, make the most of it.’ And you have to show us in practice. "
So, outside of any noise there's been, Buggs was simply deemed to not deserve to be active for the season opener. The whole situation is still a little odd, but if Buggs is back in uniform for Week 2 against the Seahawks this week's situation will start to fade away.