Status of Lions’ Halapoulivaati Vaitai in doubt for opener

Detroit News

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia announced Halapoulivaati Vaitai wouldn’t be participating in Thursday’s practice, one day after the right tackle showed up as limited on the team’s injury report with a foot injury.

The lineman’s absence casts doubt on his availability for Sunday’s season-opener against Chicago. 

Vaitai, the team’s priciest addition in free agency this offseason, has been a relatively durable player during his four-year career. He hasn’t missed a game since a knee injury knocked him out for a stretch during the second half of his rookie season in 2016. 

In training camp, Vaitai twice exited practice early, but was back on the field the following day. Patricia indicated the second instance had been related to the heat. 

If Vaitai proves unable to go against the Bears, the Lions would turn to Tyrell Crosby, a third-year player who has started seven games in his career, including five last season. 

The Bears have their own injury issues, with edge rusher Robert Quinn sitting out Wednesday due to an ankle injury. Additionally, superstar linebacker Khalil Mack was limited by a knee issue. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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