Lions left tackle Taylor Decker has yet to play this season, with the deadline for decision on what to do with him coming soon.
The Detroit Lions have been without left tackle Taylor Decker all season, as he suffered a finger injury that required surgery just before Week 1. He returned to practice on Oct. 13, fueling some optimism he’d be able to return soon.
But Decker suffered a setback with the injury immediately, and has done very little practice work in the couple weeks since. He’s now set to miss an eighth game, before the Lions hit their bye in Week 9. Head coach Dan Campbell has invited the idea that Decker will not play at all this season, but the situation remains fluid.
Lions have to make a decision on Taylor Decker soon
Decker’s return to practice on Oct. 13 started a 21-day window to put him on the 53-man roster, or he’ll have to be out for the season. Next Wednesday, Nov. 3, is that drop-dead date.
On Friday, Campbell said all options are on the table with Decker, including putting him on the 53-man roster before he’s ready to play. In terms of starting the three-week window to activate him when the team did, Campbell does not want to look back with regret.
“It’s tough to say because all parties felt like it was the right time to do it,” Campbell said Friday, when asked if he regrets starting Decker’s 21-day window to be activated when the team did. “It felt like, hey, he wanted to give it a go and certainly we would love to have him back whenever he’s capable. It’s hard to look back and regret that move at the time knowing what we know and where we were all at, all parties, but here it is.”
With defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand now also in his 21-day activation window after starting the season on IR, and one current open spot on the 53-man roster, the Lions have some decisions and roster maneuvering in front of them.
Putting Decker on the active roster without him being able to play feels like bad roster management. But if it that’s the move that’s made, a return to action coming off the bye in Week 10 would seem very possible.
If Decker is put on the 53-man before next Wednesday and winds up nowhere close to playing that Week 10 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, then the criticism to active his return window when they did and/or not just throwing in the towel on his 2021 season will easily come the Lions’ way.