The Lions traded for defensive tackle Michael Brockers this offseason with designs on him playing a leading role on their defensive front, but they didn’t get a lot of time to see him in action this summer.
Brockers has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury until recently and he’s working his way back toward full participation with a little over a week to go before the team faces the 49ers. Lions head coach Dan Campbell thinks he’ll get there, but admitted that the team may take a different approach if they think it’s the better way to prepare Brockers for the next 16 games.
“I think we feel like he’ll be ready Week One,” Campbell said, via the team’s website. “He is still improving, he is. It’s just at a snail’s pace right now. The fear is that if you put him in too early right now, do we take away everything that we’ve gotten, the gains that we have gotten by holding him [out]? I think that’s the tough trick right now. I know this, if you said we had to play right now, he would go play. But yet, if we thought we could get him to that almost 100 percent range by holding him a little bit more, is it worth it? Well, knowing that we have a long season and he’s played a lot of football, I just tend to be a little more conservative with him, that’s all.”
The Lions took Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill in the second and third rounds of the draft, but they’d like a veteran presence on their defensive line and we’ll find out next week if Brockers is in position to provide it.