Detroit Lions’ Taylor Decker (finger) misses practice; could Penei Sewell debut at LT?

Detroit Free Press

Taylor Decker missed the open portion of practice Thursday, leaving the Detroit Lions with a question mark at left tackle ahead of Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

Decker appeared on the Lions’ practice report Wednesday with a finger injury, and the team signed offensive tackle Will Holden to the practice squad Thursday morning.

If Decker cannot play, the Lions could shift rookie Penei Sewell from right to left tackle.

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Sewell played exclusively on the right side this summer, but was a left tackle during his two seasons at Oregon.

“I thought he did some good things (in the preseason),” Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said of Sewell. “Obviously, he had some struggles, but as long as you learn from those struggles and continue to improve, that’s the most important thing.”

Sewell allowed a sack on his third snap of the preseason, against fellow rookie Gregory Rousseau, but Lynn said he showed steady improvement in pass protection during camp.

“Let me just say preseason, that’s when you learn, that’s when you grow,” Lynn said. “That’s what preseason’s for. He didn’t play at all last year. He sat out. Now, getting back up to speed with the NFL players in this game, yeah, that was a challenge for him a little bit but this young man’s doing a lot of good things.”

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Regardless who starts at left tackle Sunday, the Lions will have their hands full with a fierce 49ers pass rush.

Nick Bosa, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, is healthy after an injuryriddled 2020, and the 49ers also return veterans Arik Armstead and Dee Ford.

The Lions have three first-round picks on their offensive line in Decker, Sewell and center Frank Ragnow, but are thin in the second group. Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai has experience at right tackle, and swing tackle Matt Nelson can play both tackle positions.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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