The Lions have opened training camp with DE Ezekiel Ansah on the PUP list and LB Devon Kennard on the non-football injury list. Ansah is still working his way back from spring knee surgery. Detroit has not revealed Kennard's injury, after the free-agent addition worked out with the team in the spring. According to the Detroit Free Press, Kennard is expected to be back before the regular season. We'll see when either player actually returns. The absences of 2 key pass rushers is tough for a defense that ranked 23rd in sack rate last season.
Lions EDGE Romeo Okwara (shoulder) and DL Michael Brockers (shoulder) are active for today's game against the Bears.
Lions EDGE Trey Flowers (shoulder, knee), DL Michael Brockers (shoulder) and EDGE Romeo Okwara (shoulder) are all questionable for Sunday's game against the Ravens. Flowers missed practice all week and probably shouldn't be in IDP lineups even if he plays. Okwara and Brockers each put in limited practices all week. We'll update the status on all 3 Sunday morning. Detroit has already ruled out LB Jamie Collins after confirming that they're trying to trade the veteran. That should clear the way for rookie LB Derrick Barnes to get his 1st start, though we'd like to see the size of his role before considering him for IDP lineups.
New Lions DC Todd Wash says he'll work from a 3-4 base front, according to the Detroit Free Press. Wash adds that DEs Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara have moved to OLB. For practical purposes, that shouldn't mean much difference for their roles. Each will still primarily rush the passer in passing situations. The question will be whether league-hosting sites change the position eligibility for Flowers and/or Okwara. The Lions still list both guys at DE on the team website, so we wouldn't bet on a universal position switch. But keep an eye out for that possibility where you play. In most cases, switching from DE to LB will mean a dip in IDP value, even if a player posts identical stats. That's because most scoring systems produce bigger fantasy totals among LBs, thanks mostly to tackle scoring.
The Lions are set to hire Anthony Lynn as OC, according to insider Michael Lombardi. Lynn struggled -- particularly with in-game management -- as Chargers HC over the past 4 seasons, but all 4 of those squads finished top 11 in total yards. In his only previous OC stint, Lynn led the 2016 Bills to a 16th-place finish in yards and 10th place in points. That team led the league in rushing yards, yards per carry and TDs -- with RB LeSean McCoy going for 1,267 yards and QB Tyrod Taylor for 580. Lynn is a former RBs coach, and especially with Detroit breaking in a new QB, we'd expect a run-leaning attack in 2021.
The Lions are finalizing a deal to make Dan Campbell their new HC, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Campbell spent 10 seasons playing TE in the league and has been in the coaching ranks for the past 11. The first 6 of those came in Miami -- primarily as a TEs coach, with a 12-game stint as interim HC in 2015. Campbell has been assistant HC and TEs coach in New Orleans under Sean Payton for the last 5 years. It's a relatively uninspiring hire, but we'll see who Campbell brings aboard as OC.
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