Expect to see lots of first-team action as the Lions and Jaguars meet Friday night in the third week of preseason.
Heading into the regular season, both of these teams must figure out their running back situation. For Detroit, they must balance the steady production of Joique Bell and Theo Riddick with Ameer Abdullah, who may become the league’s most exciting young rusher.
The Jaguars are hoping that mantle will instead belong to T.J. Yeldon, who the Jaguars drafted this spring. Yeldon hasn’t appeared yet in game action, but has practiced with the team while recovering from a finger sprain. He should get his first live touches tonight, and coaches are eager to see if he can bring to the NFL the same success he experienced at Alabama.
Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Friday, August 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET
The game will be broadcast locally on all CBS affiliates. Click here for a full TV schedule.
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville -1.5, Over/Under 41.5
Scouting the Lions
The Lions will come out firing in their third game, but will do so without one of their biggest weapons. Calvin Johnson normally doesn’t see much preseason action, but he is likely to sit out the third straight game on Friday. Given that the fourth game is primarily for sorting out the bottom of the roster, don’t expect to see Megatron on the field until the games actually count.
On the other side of the ball, it’s another week for Haloti Ngata to acclimate himself to the Detroit defense. The Lions had a formidable front last season, cemented by Ndamukong Suh clogging the middle. Ngata is the same type of player, but will need to elevate his game playing for a defense less-equipped than his former Ravens squad.
Scouting the Jaguars
The Jaguars don’t enter 2015 with a ton of expectations, but they are expected to inch closer to relevance with each passing year. That being said, their biggest problem so far this year has been staying healthy. Franchise QB Blake Bortles is fine, but key players around him can’t seem to stay on the field.
It started in rookie camp, when third overall pick Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL in his first Jaguars practice. T.J. Yeldon hasn’t played in a game yet, but may get his shot Friday. Julius Thomas, the former Bronco tight end that could be a huge factor in this offense, left the team’s first preseason game with a broken bone in his right hand. Jacksonville may be getting better players, but it means nothing if they can’t suit up on gameday.