Jamaal Williams misses Detroit Lions practice; Taylor Decker progresses to team drills

Detroit Free Press

Taylor Decker took only walk-through reps in his return to practice Wednesday, but the Detroit Lions plan to slowly integrate him into team drills this week.

Decker, the Lions starting left tackle since 2016, has not played since injuring his left hand in a pass rush drill days before a season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

He is eligible to come off injured reserve for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but may need another week before he sees the field.

“Hopefully today he may get in there and get some practice reps just to see how he moves around and see how he uses that hand,” Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said before practice Thursday.

On Wednesday, Decker appeared to have a cast on his hand at practice. On Thursday, he appeared to be wearing a glove with his hand taped.

More: Why these winless Detroit Lions seem different than 0-16 team from 2008

“(Offensive lineman) use their hands a lot, that is very true, and so putting a club on it and trying to play, guys have done it, it’s just whatever you’re comfortable with,” Lynn said. “So right now we just want to see him get back out there and take a live rep before we decide anything.”

Decker is expected to play left tackle when he returns, bumping rookie Penei Sewell to right tackle and swing tackle Matt Nelson to the bench.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson (knee), defensive end Trey Flowers (knee) and cornerback Amani Oruwariye (hip) returned to practice Thursday, while running back Jamaal Williams (hip) did not take part in the portion of practice open to the media. Return man Corey Ballentine (hamstring) also was out a second straight day.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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