Joint practices are likely to be back on league-wide this summer, and the Detroit Lions will have theirs with the Indianapolis Colts.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL eliminated joint training camp practices for the last two years. That two-year hiatus looks sure to be over this year. On that note, with head coach Dan Campell announcing it from rookie minicamp on Saturday, the Detroit Lions will travel to Indianapolis to practice against the Colts before the Aug. 20 preseason game between the two teams.
The game against the Colts will be Week 2 of the preseason, and with HBO’s “Hard Knocks” following the Lions during camp (episodes airing starting Aug. 9), some footage from the two practices against the Colts will surely make the air.
The Lions should get good work in against the Colts
As a near-playoff team last year, with an upgrade at quarterback (Matt Ryan) and some other additions (Stephon Gilmore) this offseason, Frank Reich’s Colts should be a good test for the Lions–even in a practice setting.
Coaches like to profess the value of training camp practices against other teams. Campbell of course had to do without it last year, but via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press the head coach spoke about the value he sees in practicing against another team.
It’s a change in intensity because you’re going against another opponent, and sometimes even as intense as you try to make your own practices, just to be able to go against a different opponent, just levels the stakes,” Campbell said on Day 2 of rookie minicamp. “It levels the intensity, which you need that. Their bodies need that. The competition. Just to raise the stakes a little bit goes a long way for your guys.”
The Lions last held joint practices with the Colts in 2017, ahead of what wound up being Jim Caldwell’s last season as head coach.
With the Colts game in the middle, the Lions will play the Atlanta Falcons in their first 2022 preseason game (date TBD) and the Pittsburgh Steelers in their third and final preseason contest (Aug. 28.)