The reshuffling along Detroit's offensive line will commence once again.
Left guard Jonah Jackson won't play Sunday vs. Chicago after suffering a wrist injury in last week's win over the Chargers. Jackson was held out of practice all week and the Lions ruled him out on Friday's injury report.
So once again the Lions will have to shuffle up their combinations up front, which unfortunately has become the norm in Detroit this season. They have had seven different starting combinations in seven of their first eight games before finally having their top five of Taylor Decker, Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Graham Glasgow and Penei Sewell back together last week. That combination helped produce 325 net passing yards and 200 rushing yards for the first time in franchise history in the Lions' 41-38 win over the Chargers last week.
The Lions have options to replace Jackson in the starting lineup. Jackson missed three games earlier this year with a high ankle sprain. Kayode Awosika started a couple of those games Jackson missed and played pretty well. He's allowed one sack and four total hurries in his two starts vs. Tampa Bay and Las Vegas, both Lions wins. Colby Sorsdal and Dan Skipper also have experience playing guard this season.
"Yeah, a lot of comfort because those guys have time-on-task," Campbell said. "They've played with the other guys. We've got some guys that can play over there, Yode, Sorsdal, Skip. So, we've got options here."
With Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery healthy and chewing up yards for the Detroit Lions, speculation has risen that they both might hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark.
That appeals to Montgomery.
"I think it's very possible," Montgomery said. "We're on track, right?'
With eight games left, Gibbs has rushed for 476 yards. Montgomery has rushed for 501. Montgomery has missed three games to injury. Gibbs has missed two.
"I think when it's all said and done, we can achieve that," Montgomery said. "I think we will. It would be super sweet to have me and Jahmyr do something like that. It would be crazy."
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Detroit's Dave Fipp is not only one of the best special teams coordinators in the NFL but he's also a good motivator and terrific story teller. The media gets to talk to Fipp every Thursday, and I can probably speak for everyone in saying we all look forward to the interaction.
Fipp had a good story Thursday about why his standards are so high and why he expects a lot out of his players.
"Yeah, so I grew up in a household you guys know my dad was in the military and he was a pilot. And he would always tell us when we were kids growing up, the story of kind of like what are your standards? And the way he told the story was this, he said he was flying - he was learning to become a pilot in the Navy and he was out with an officer, and it was a training flight, and he was in the front, the guy was in the back.
"And he said the guy says, 'Climb and maintain 3,000 feet.' And he said, 'Climb and maintain 3,000, sir.' The guy said, 'Turn right heading 3-6-0.' He said, 'Alright, heading 3-6-0, sir.' The guy says, 'Descend and maintain 2,000 feet.' He said, 'Descend and maintain 2,000, sir.' And then the guy says, 'I said descend and maintain 2,000.' He said, 'We're level at 2,000, sir.' The guy says, 'You're 2,050 feet.' He said, 'Yes, sir.' He said, 'Get us down 50 feet.'
"And the way he told the story was, 'God, you're in this jet aircraft, it's very sensitive, you just push a little forward, a little back it's going to jump 100 feet just like that.' He said he got down, got out of the plane and the guy said, 'God, that was hell of a flight, man. You did a great job, but I'm going to tell you something, if you accept that 50 feet today, you'll accept it the rest of your life.' And he said, 'Ultimately, it's going to come down to what are your standards?' So, ultimately for me, it's like 'Ah, there's 50 feet everywhere in everything we do. Nothing's perfect.'"
Campbell said to be a truly physical football team, receivers have to block and cornerbacks have to tackle.
Cornerbacks coach Dre Bly couldn't agree more. He said Detroit's receivers are the kind of players he hated going up against when he was playing in the NFL.
"I told our receivers, 'I'm like, dude, when I played you guys were the type of receivers I wanted to stay away from,'" Bly said Friday. "They didn't make games easy for me. And there wasn't a lot of guys that played the way our guys play. They block all across the field, and not just one, all of them, right."
As far as his room doing their part to match Campbell's mantra, Bly said that's the standard.
"Jerry (Jacobs) and No. 1 (Cam Sutton) have been showing up in the run game," Bly said. "No. 32 (Brian Branch) the way they fly around in the back end. They embrace physical contact and I think that sends a message. When you look at the little guys, the little guys aren't typically known for doing those things, but when you look at our guys it just tells you a lot about this team and how we're wired."
- Linebacker James Houston was spotted at practice Friday working off to the side as he tries to work himself back from an ankle injury.
- Campbell said he doesn't expect veteran edge rusher Bruce Irvin to be elevated from the practice squad this week as he continues to get into football shape.
"We want to be smart about this, and let's see where he goes," Campbell said of Irvin. "But certainly, I think just getting in football shape is important. I don't think you want to throw anybody out there and then you set them up for disaster with an injury or something when they're just not quite ready. So, I don't see him being up this week."
Irvin, who has 55.5 career sacks, was signed to the practice squad on Wednesday.