Many questions remain on D-line heading into last preseason game

Thursday, September 3, 2009

At a time where teams optimally are making their final roster decisions for a couple of positions, the Lions have questions yet to answer and decisions yet to make regarding virtually their entire defensive line heading into tonight's final preseason game with the Bills.

Tom Kowalski at reports that a season-ending Achilles injury to DE Jared DeVries didn't help matters.

DeVries already was slated for the starting left defensive end position with Cliff Avril and Dewayne White fighting for the starting job on the right side. Now, the Lions probably will move Avril to the left side -- that's where he will get a lot of action in Thursday's game -- to compete with Jason Hunter.

Andre Fluellen, last year's third-round draft choice, also has been moved since the injury to DeVries. Fluellen was at tackle but also is playing at left end.

Questions remain on the interior of the defensive line as well, according to Killer:
Veteran Grady Jackson is expected to be a starter, but the Lions expect only 12 to 15 plays per game out of him for the first few weeks of the season. The Lions need to find another starter and another player to rotate with Jackson.

Who will step up? The candidates are Shaun Smith, Chuck Darby, Sammie Hill, Landon Cohen, Ikika Alama-Francis and Orien Harris.

Having this much unresolved this late in the preseason about so many D-line positions probably isn't good. But it's a long road back from 0-16.

Talk about it in The Den!