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Detroit Lions Late August Scouting Report
James Hintz

Preseason Game 2: Lions 27, Colts 26

QB: As expected, the Lions sat QB Jared Goff and the rest of the projected offensive starters in the win over the Colts. So the spotlight was on QB David Blough and QB Tim Boyle, and again both guys were OK, but overall uninspiring based on the typical bland preseason passing game, i.e. lots of short throws. Nothing new on the QB Mason Rudolph trade rumor, but the Lions will get an up close look at him when they play the Steelers on Sunday. The Lions could also use their high position in the waiver order to claim a quarterback after the final cuts if they feel they can upgrade the backup spot. We’ll see how things go with Boyle and Blough as both will play a lot on Sunday as it sounds like the Lions plan to play most starters against the Steelers, but not Goff.

RB: You may have seen on episode 2 of Hard Knocks that the Lions want RB D’Andre Swift to be great, and they are going to give him every chance to be great while they coach him hard and push him to get to that level. Swift and RB Jamaal Williams did not play in Indy, so the backups got their shots. I don’t know if the Lions did this intentionally but they gave exactly 7 carries to four different guys. RB Justin Jackson led the way with 54 yards. He hasn’t been talked about much which is a little surprising to me as he has a bit of a track record. But it sounds like RB Craig Reynolds and RB Godwin Igwebuike have the inside track to make it as the 3rd and 4th running backs. RB Justin Jefferson is in the mix as well. Swift remains a solid fantasy option. I am ignoring the story that came out a few days ago about his season goal of 1,000 rushing and receiving yards. First of all, Lions fans want to see a winning team. If he can accomplish that along the way it would be great, but we’re talking about a guy that needs to prove he can stay on the field. So let’s calm down with the talk of what would be a historic season.

WR/TE: At this point it feels like there is no way WR Tom Kennedy will fail to make the roster. His preseason production continued with 2 TD catches against the Colts, as he is playing his way onto the team. He is not a lock yet, and I’m not sure he will be able to break into the playing rotation come September if he does make it, but he is a guy they can feel good about if injuries hit. You would think a guy like WR Amon-Ra St. Brown would be a good bet to stay healthy after seeing on Hard Knocks the way he trains and takes care of his body, but it’s the NFL and you never know with injuries. WR DJ Chark is probably undrafted in most leagues but I still think he is worth a late round flier. There is an update on WR Jameson Williams and his projected return. He was moved to the PUP list so he will be out for at least the first four weeks. It will be longer than that. The best guess based on the Lions beat writers would be November, so you can probably avoid him in redraft leagues as we will likely be worked in slowly once he is cleared to practice and play. The tight ends combined for 8 catches in Saturday’s game, and it’s a safe bet that TE TJ Hockenson will be involved as usual in the passing game when we get to the regular season. He is still a nice option in the mid to late rounds as a starting tight end. Undrafted rookie WR Kalil Pimpleton got some air time on episode 3 of Hard Knocks, but it’s tough to see a path for him to make the team. He should be a strong practice squad candidate.

K/DST: It looks like PK Austin Seibert still has the slight edge in the kicking battle. He went 2 of 3 on field goals against the Colts, and the miss hit the upright from 55 yards. The injuries seem to be adding up a bit on the defensive side of the ball, so I am not as optimistic as I had been for this defense. I wouldn’t even look at them as a streaming option at this time. DE Aidan Hutchinson will be fun to watch and is worth consideration in IDP leagues due to his motor.

Next up for the Lions will be preseason game 3 in Pittsburgh, then the cut to 53 and the regular season opener against the Eagles.


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