Late in the Detroit Lions win over the Las Vegas Raiders to go into the bye week on a high note, long snapper Scott Daly left the game with a knee injury and did not return after being injured on a field goal attempt (a 26-yard miss by Riley Patterson, but that's another conversation).
On Tuesday, head coach Dan Campbell updated Daly's status.
He’s going to need surgery,” Campbell said. “It’s a tough one to lose. I’m glad you brought him up because he’s been—nobody really talks about Daly. And you don’t talk about the long snapper unless something bad happens, and we hadn’t talked about Daly since Mule was gone. [...] Daly, just grew from there. He took the challenge and just grew. He’s been a steady rock for us and he’s improved every year. He’s having the best year that we’ve had. So it hurts. It’s going to hurt to lose him. He’s been really good for us. We’ll figure all of that out and we’ll move forward.”
The Lions officially placed Daly on IR, so he'll miss at least four games.
Daly has won a training camp battle to be the Lions' long snapper in two of his three seasons. He first beat out long-time Lions' long snapper Don Muhlbach, who retired and is now on the Detroit coaching staff. Then this year he beat out two-time Pro Bowler Jake McQuaide for the job.
Lions have bye week to find new long snapper
Like Campbell said, long snappers don't get noticed unless they make a mistake but they occupy a unique role. The Lions didn't need someone to snap for any kicks over the rest of Monday night's game, but Campbell told the Detroit News linebacker Alex Anzalone or defensive end Aidan Hutchinson would likely have done so in Daly's place had it been needed.
The simplest way for the Lions to replace Daly would be to bring back McQuaide, who is a free agent. But Campbell was naturally asked, however tongue-in-cheekily, about Muhlbach.
Update, 5:00 p.m. ET: The Lions have brought McQuaide back on the practice squad.
The Lions have some time, with the bye week, to consider what they'll do to replace Daly before they return to action in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers. But it's fair to assume they'll try to get it figured out sooner rather than later.