The Detroit Lions are preparing to face off against the Indianapolis Colts Friday night at Ford Field in both team’s final preseason game of 2021. And while this final exhibition is usually known as the roster bubble bowl, the last contest for fringe players to prove they belong on the final roster, it could mean a bit more for the Lions.
There appear to be several unsettled position battles in Detroit. And a stellar or poor performance against the Colts could be the determiner of a player’s future in the Motor City with final cuts looming. With that in mind, here are three offensive positions we’ll be watching closely on Friday night.
The position of wide receiver has been a major topic of discussion this offseason. That after the new regime opted to replace beloved names like Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones with a number of free-agent veterans signed to one-year deals and unproven rookies.
This unit still feels very much in flex going into the final preseason game. It seems safe to say Tyrell Williams and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown are locks to make this roster. But beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Based on preseason performance alone, Tom Kennedy should be on that list too. But his future may be determined by how many slot receivers the team opts to go with and if Breshad Perriman makes the final-53 man roster or not. This all makes the wide receiver corps a must-watch for fans against the Colts.
Who will be the primary backup to Jared Goff going into the regular season? At this point, it feels like David Blough has been the more effective passer overall. But the new regime may prefer Tim Boyle. Perhaps it won’t matter as the team could simply decide to keep both. But a great performance tonight by either one could sway the decision of whose number is called as Goff’s primary backup.
The Lions will have some tough calls to make about their running back depth chart beyond D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Detroit has some very intriguing players at this position who may now be competing for a spot on the practice squad.
While it appears rookie Jermar Jefferson has likely earned himself a role on the final roster, it will be interesting to see if one final push from Godwin Igwebuike, Craig Reynolds, or Dedrick Mills against the Colts will force Detroit to go heavy at the position during Tuesday’s final cuts.