Taylor Decker’s absence from the Detroit Lions starting lineup will extend at least until early October.
The Lions placed Decker on injured reserve Saturday, three days after he suffered a finger injury in practice.
NFL Network reported Decker underwent finger surgery, something Lions coach Dan Campbell hinted was coming Friday.
THE QB: Matthew Stafford will answer ultimate Lions question: Is it player or uniform?
THE OPENER: Lions vs. 49ers: Dave Birkett’s scouting report, prediction
“He just, like he does and he’s done all camp, it was just in a pass protection,” Campbell said. “He threw the punch, threw the hand and the injury took place. It’s more on a finger. He’ll be with a doctor (Friday).”
Decker must miss a minimum of three weeks, including Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers and games Sept. 20 against the Green Bay Packers and Sept. 26 against the Baltimore Ravens.
He is eligible to return Oct. 2, the day before the Lions’ game against the Chicago Bears.
Rookie Penei Sewell took first-team reps at left tackle in Decker’s absence the past two days, and could make his NFL debut at left tackle. Sewell, the No. 7 pick of the draft, played left tackle in college at Oregon but practiced all training camp at right tackle.
Matt Nelson is expected to start at right tackle.
The Lions signed rookie guard Tommy Kraemer off the practice squad to take Decker’s place on the 53-man roster, and are elevating tackle Will Holden from practice squad to the gameday roster Sunday.
The Lions also re-signed receiver Javon McKinley to the practice squad.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.