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The training camp is underway. Species of.

The Detroit Lions reported to camp Tuesday and spent the last few days taking COVID-19 tests and attending virtual meetings. We are still a few days away from any field work, and a few weeks away from padded practices, so a roster forecast of 53 men with any degree of certainty is like the partners in the Daily 4 at the Michigan Lottery.

Consider this more overview of where the roster is, and what decisions the Lions will face in the coming weeks, from any hard and fast predictions of what will happen on the Sept. 5 cut-off day.

[ Lions on edge after Miami Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak: ‘Am I concerned? Obviously’ ]

Much remains unknown, from what kind of coronavirus trough it will spread on the Lions roster – they have five players currently on the reserve list / COVID-19 – for which players have made great strides (or lost the -pass) from last year.

One reminder: The NFL has some new roster rules that will go into effect this fall that will have an impact on decision making.

First, practice squads are expected to expand to 16 players to account for the coronavirus pandemic, and as many as eight of those spots could be taken by veterans.

Second, teams are allowed 48-day rosters this day this fall, up from 46 last year, which could allow room for someone with a more specialized role or reduce the need. of a starter to play on special teams. If a team chooses to go with 48 players, at least eight of those players must be offensive linemen and two players of a practice squad can be elevated to the roster each week without counting to the limit of 53 men. (In past years, teams typically keep seven offensive linemen active and there has been no free movement between the practice squad and the active roster.)

Third, teams cannot have more than 80 players on their roster when padded practices begin next month. The Lions have chosen to go with 90 players for now, in part so they can make a thorough assessment of their unsigned rookies.

With all that in mind, here is my prediction too early of the initial 53-man roster.

Quarter (2)

Female: Matthew Stafford, Chase Daniel.

Stafford is, of course, locked in the starting point, and a prime candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. Daniel is the undoubted backup after signing a three-year deal in this time call. The Lions may retain Blough as the third quarterback due to coronavirus concerns, but he is unlikely to have many replays this summer as the Lions push into the regular season and from the standpoint. Roster management makes sense to keep a third quarterback on practice. Squadron. Because of those new NFL rules that allow teams to activate two players from the practice squad each week, the Lions will have a safety net if Stafford or Daniel are lost by the virus just before a game.

Chasing (5)

In: Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift, Bo Scarbrough, Jason Huntley, Nick Bawden

It will be interesting to see how the Lions vibrate the workload between Johnson and Swift this fall. With a situation of 1 and 1A, it is possible that they will go back to this year. I remain with five backs on the roster of 53 men for now. Scarbrough, thanks to his work late last season, and Huntley, due to his status as a pick-rookie pick and ability as a returning man, get the eye with Ty Johnson. Bawden has had injury problems the past two seasons, but I don’t know if Luke Sellers will take a long enough look at the training camp to win the fullback job.

Wide receiver (5)

Female: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Quintez Cephus, Marvin Hall.

The top four players on this list are locks, although Golladay’s status is seeing him on the COVID list right now and I don’t expect much from Cephus on the pitch as a rookie, despite his ability. which plays both outside and in the slot. The Hall here took the nod as the No. 5 receiver because of its speed, but I really wanted to find a place for Jamal Agnew. Agnew is electric as a returning man and I want his versatility on my team, but learning a new place will not be easy in this section. Geremy Davis, because of the ability of his special teams, and Geronimo Allison, because of his experience, are also worth watching.

Strict end (3)

Female: TJ Hockenson, Jesse James, Isaac Nauta.

Like Golladay, Hockenson was put on the COVID list this week and is still not much known about his status. The Lions are relying on big things from him this fall, though he has been slowly recovering from the ankle injury that cut his rookie season. Unsigned rookie Hunter Bryant has a chance to make the roster, but considering the back space restrictions and the realities of the coming weeks, I gave Nauta the No. 3 spot. , Bryant seems to be a good bet for the practice squad.

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Dave Birkett shares his thoughts and answers your questions about the Detroit Lions on the eve of the training camp on Monday, July 27, 2020.

Detroit Free Press

Offensive line (9)

Female: Taylor Decker, Joe Dahl, Frank Ragnow, Jonah Jackson, Hal Vaitai, Logan Stenberg, Kenny Wiggins, Tyrell Crosby, Oday Aboushi.

This roster puts the Lions a little heavy on the inner linemen, but that’s their depth. Crosby can have both tackle spots and Wiggins can play inside or on the right attack, so there’s little versatility. In addition, the new practice squad and the rules of the game day mean that Lions don’t have to happen. One of the biggest battles you see on the field is what happens in the right guard, where Jackson could be a Week 1 starter with Wiggins, Stenberg and Aboushi among others who deserve a mandate.

Defensive line (7)

Female: Trey Flowers, Danny Shelton, Nick Williams, Da’Shawn Hand, Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant, John Penisini.

It’s rare for the Lions to play more than three linemen at a time, and the shape of their linebacking corpse – I included a rookie in Julian Okwara’s third round in that group – means they can go light here . Flowers, Shelton, Williams and Hand project to get most of the playing time, and it’s too early to give up on Bryant as an edge player. If the Lions keep just seven linemen, Penisini, the sixth-round pick, will have to beat the likes of Kevin Strong and Frank Herron, both of whom saw game time last year, and seventh rounder Jason Cornell. The rear end of this group position is especially visible for grabs.

Linebacker (8)

In: Jamie Collins, Jarrad Davis, Jahlani Tavai, Christian Jones, Julian Okwara, Reggie Ragland, Miles Killebrew, Jalen Reeves-Maybin.

If the defensive line looks light with seven players, the linebacking body can be heavy with eight. But Collins, Davis, Tavai and Jones should include the best group of games, and Killebrew and Reeves-Maybin are key special teamers. I’m interested to see what the Lions have in store for Davis once the practices begin. His ability as a Blitzer, and other concerns about the position – both Jones and Tavai finished last season on an injured reserve – could create a place for Ragland as a running defender.

Defensive back (11)

Women: CB – Jeff Okudah, Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman, Amani Oruwariye, Darryl Roberts, Tony McRae; S – Tracy Walker, Duron Harmon, Will Harris, Jayron Kearse, CJ Moore.

I consider high school as the Lions ’defensive strength, despite the turnover of this time call, and NFL teams have so many sub-packs of defense that it makes sense to keep 11 defensive backs in a year where depth will play an equally important part in a team’s successful depth. Okudah, Trufant and Coleman are the team’s starting points, but Roberts is a nice insurance policy (along with the Lions who paid him as if he would be on the team, with a $ 500,000 and $ signing bonus 500,000 in base salary guarantees) and McRae adds special value teams. Both Kearse and Moore should be special core teamers as well, and that’s enough to keep both on the roster, especially with Oruwariye and the safety of unsigned rookie Jalen Elliott on the COVID list.

Specialist (3)

In: K-Matt Prater, P-Jack Fox, LS-Steven Wirtel.

By keeping all 90 players on their roster for now, the Lions could be put into a long-term snapper competition in the next two weeks. Sure, the odds favor Don Muhlbach in that battle, but I’m playing here. Muhlbach turns 39 next month, is returning from offseason surgery and Wirtel was the best long snapper in the draft and someone the Lions managed to see up close in the Senior Bowl. Fox climbs on top of the other unsigned rookie specialist on the Lions roster, punter Arryn Siposs, who is on the COVID list for the time being, while Prater is locked in the kicking job, where the consumption of the beer of the whole city relies on its success.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more about the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.