The decision to just remodel his contract seemed to point to it, but the Lions injury update on guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai on Monday was optimistic.
After a 2021 season when the never had their projected five starting offensive lineman together for a snap, it seemed that would change last season. Then right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a back injury late in the preseason, and he missed the entire season.
Vaitai stood as a possible, if not likely, cap casualty for the Lions this offseason. But enough time passed that it became less likely, and pointed to talks about a restructure/pay cut. Indeed, “Big V” took a big pay cut to stick around and what would have been the final year of his contract in 2024 was turned into a void year.
With no real news since he was placed on IR, it was fair to assume Vaitai’s health was on a good track or the Lions wouldn’t be keeping him around. If he had been cut, the current health of his back may have been a factor in his finding a new team.
Detroit Lions give optimistic injury update on Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Perhaps lost a bit in the fray of Lions general manager Brad Holmes 30-minute session with the media at the league meetings on Monday, via Pride of Detroit, was an update on Vaitai and an acknowledgement of the upcoming competition for the starting right guard job between him and the newly signed Graham Glasgow.
He’s in a good place,” Holmes said. “We just got some recent reports back that he’s in a really good place.”
V is a good player,“He’s a starting-level guard that fits what we’re about along the offensive line. Obviously, there’s question marks—were question marks—about his health and all of that,
But to get Glasgow in the fold. Glasgow is a guy that’s got position versatility as well…It’s good to have that competition, and it should be good.”
If Vaitai does not beat out Glasgow and regain the starting job at right guard, he has some position versatility himself as he has also played tackle in his career. But the main thing is his health appears to be on the right track, and he should be able to put his best out there in the competition with Glasgow.