After last Thursday night's season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker was spotted leaving the locker room in a walking boot. Head coach Dan Campbell acknowledged it the day after, while lauding Decker's toughness and saying he played most of the game with the injury.
Decker missed practice when the Lions returned to practice on Tuesday, and on Wednesday's estimated practice report (the team did not actually practice) he was listed as out. His level of participation on Thursday stood to be telling about his status for Sunday against the Seahawks.
Decker was officially listed as out on Thursday's practice report, along with cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring) and cornerback Khalil Dorsey (illness). All three were listed as out on Wednesday too. Center Frank Ragnow (toe) was a full participant.
In fact, it appears Decker was not even on the sideline for Thursday's practice.
Taylor Decker injury update: Not toward playing Week 2 vs. Seahawks
Decker is certainly in the group of Lions' players who do not have to practice at all to play on Sundays, if it means saving wear and tear on a lingering injury. But not being able to practice on Thursday, with a final, possibly lighter session for the week coming Friday, is a massive red flag.
So if Decker ends up missing Sunday's game, let's circle back to what replacing him could look like for the Lions.
-When Decker missed the first eight games of the 2021 season, Penei Sewell moved over to left tackle while Matt Nelson stepped in to start at right tackle. Nelson could just step in at left tackle for Decker, but that's a bad idea because he's barely roster-worthy; let alone starting-caliber.
-Another option is to move Halapoulivaati Vaitai out to right tackle, where he started his Lions' career, and install Graham Glasgow at right guard. Sewell obviously makes the move to left tackle in this alignment too, and it has five of the Lions' six best offensive lineman starting the game.
Campbell will speak to the media on Friday morning, with Decker's injury status likely the first question he's asked. But it's certainly not tracking well for the Lions' left tackle to suit up on Sunday.