Halapoulivaati Vaitai missing all of last season with a back injury created a revolving door at right guard for the Detroit Lions. Losing Evan Brown in free agency this offseason required a pivot, and former Lion Graham Glasgow was an ideal fit.
Frank Ragnow's ongoing toe issue led to Glasgow taking a lot of training camp snaps at center, which minimized the competition with Vaitai at right guard. But Vaitai's knee injury in Week 2 gave Glasgow the chance to step in Week 3, and he was noticeably good against the Packers on Thursday night.
In the last two games, Glasgow has been among the top-seven highest-graded Lions' offensive players by Pro Football Focus. Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said he feels like he has six offensive line starters, and Glasgow has delivered on that front.
Graham Glasgow has been exactly what the Detroit Lions needed
It's well-documented how the Lions didn't have their all five of their projected starting offensive lineman all together under Dan Campbell until Week 1 this season. And that lasted one game, with left tackle Taylor Decker suffering a right ankle injury in the season opener and missing the next two games. Then of course Vaitai got hurt in Week 2.
After the win over the Packers, via Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News, Campbell could not say enough about Glasgow.
"One of the things about having him here is certainly his flexibility, to be able to play center and guard, but he’s exactly what you want from a guy who’s got some skins on the wall, man,” “He’s reliable, he’s smart, and he’s been a durable player, man. You don’t have to worry about him handling his job.”
"We put a lot on him between both of those positions, and he’s been exactly what you want…and he’s going to get it done over there,” Campbell said. “He plays well with (right tackle Penei) Sewell, he plays well with Frank over there at that right guard spot."
“He’s been good for us.”
Vaitai has not been put on IR with his knee injury, so it seems his return is coming soon after missing the last two games. The question will then become if he gets his starting job back, or if Glasgow keeps it.