Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions told the media on September 26 that left tackle Taylor Decker and running back David Montgomery were the two players that were ‘trending the most positive’ toward playing on Thursday night in Week 4. Officially, both players are listed as questionable.
But early on September 28, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that neither Decker nor Montgomery will play against the Green Bay Packers.
“There was some optimism early in the week, but I’m told, Montgomery not expected to play tonight,” Pelissero told Jamie Erdahl on Good Morning Football. “That means, of course, we expect another heavy dose of Jahmyr Gibbs.
“Lions left tackle Taylor Decker also not expected to play, I’m told.”
However, Pelissero didn’t have just grim news for Detroit. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, who is also listed as questionable, is expected to make his first appearance for the Lions.
“But a bit of good news for Detroit, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, one of their high-priced free agency additions,” Pelissero said. “I’m told he’s expected to make his Lions debut.”
Lions Extremely Thin at Left Tackle
While Montgomery’s absence will get more headlines because he plays a skill position, the player Detroit badly needed back in the lineup for Week 4 was Decker.
Right tackle Penei Sewell flipped over to left tackle the past two games in Decker’s absence. Then at right tackle, the Lions started Matt Nelson. For extra depth, the team elevated Dan Skipper from the practice squad for Week 3 versus the Atlanta Falcons.
But against the Falcons, both Nelson and Skipper suffered injuries. Fifth-round rookie Colby Sorsdal finished the game at right tackle.
Of the three injured tackles, Campbell made it sound as if Decker was the most likely to play. Campbell told the media on September 25 that Nelson “will require surgery” for his ankle injury.
The Lions have not officially updated Skipper’s injury status because he returned to the practice squad after Week 3.
Without Decker back in the lineup, more than likely, Sewell will remain at left tackle. At right tackle, Sorsdal will probably make his first NFL start.
Lions Turning to Rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs Again
Although Detroit would obviously prefer to have Montgomery return for the showdown at Lambeau Field, the Lions should still feel comfortable with their backfield situation.
Gibbs played well in his first game as Detroit’s lead back, running for 80 yards on 17 carries against the Falcons. The Lions also have a decent stable of complimentary backs on the depth chart behind Gibbs.
Veteran Craig Reynolds rushed for 15 yards on 4 carries. 2022 undrafted free agent Zonovan Knight ran for 13 yards on 3 attempts.
Reynolds and Knight combined to play 27 snaps in Week 3. They did just enough to help prevent Gibbs from getting overworked.
Emmanuel Moseley Expected to Make Lions Debut
The Lions defense was arguably even more banged up than the offense against the Falcons. But for Week 4, the team will likely get one player back in the lineup with Moseley.
With Moseley’s expected return, Jerry Jacobs can move back into a reserve role. For the first time this season, the Lions will have their full compliment of cornerbacks.
Rookie defensive back Brian Branch experienced a breakout game in Week 3. Cameron Sutton has also played well early this season.
Detroit’s secondary should also be feeling very confident after holding the Falcons to 139 passing yards and 3.1 yards per pass in Week 3.