Detroit Lions OT Taylor Decker likely out vs. Bears; Penei Sewell decision will wait

Detroit Free Press

Taylor Decker went through a light workout with teammates on the field before Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but the offensive tackle still appears to be at least a week away from returning from finger surgery.

Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday that Decker likely will not come off injured reserve when he is eligible Saturday, meaning he will miss the Lions’ Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears.

“I would say as of right now, no, we don’t expect him back,” Campbell said. “I can’t totally rule him out, but I would say it would be very slim for him to be back.”

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Decker suffered a hand injury in practice Sept. 8 and underwent surgery two days later.

The Lions (0-3) moved right tackle Penei Sewell to left tackle in Decker’s absence, and Sewell has played mostly well at the position through three games.

He allowed a sack to Nick Bosa in a season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but had an impressive performance against the Green Bay Packers.

Against the Ravens, Sewell was one of the Lions’ lowest-graded offensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus, though Campbell said he did some “really good things” as a run blocker.

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“He can be a road grader,” Campbell said. “Now, I would say that’s not his best performance after a three-week period. I expect more from him. I expect him to be better than he was. Now was it bad? No, it wasn’t bad, but I hold him to high standards, too. I hold that whole group to high standards, so I expect more. There’s some things that got (him) on the edge a little bit, but he’ll be better for it.”

Campbell said the Lions plan to wait for Decker to return before deciding how to configure their offensive line going forward.

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Decker has been the Lions’ regular starting left tackle since 2016, but Sewell, a first-round pick out of Oregon, has played better at that position than he did at right tackle in the preseason and appears to be the team’s future at the position.

Along with Decker, defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand (groin) and quarterback Tim Boyle (thumb) are eligible to come off injured reserve this week, though both remain several weeks away from a return.

Boyle, who broke his right thumb in the Lions’ preseason-ending loss to the Indianapolis Colts, transitioned from a hard cast to a softer one last week.

Decker appeared to have a cast or brace on his left hand during a brief appearance at the Lions’ practice facility last week.

Campbell said the Lions plan to activate defensive lineman Jashon Cornell now that he is done serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on substances of abuse, but it is unclear if Cornell will play against the Bears.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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