Lions’ T.J. Lang says he’s being cautious; if this was regular season he’d be playing

Goal is to play in season opener vs. Jets

ALLEN PARK >> Lions right guard T.J. Lang has been held out of the first two preseason games and much of training camp.

His injury remains a mystery, but he said his goal is still to play against the N.Y. Jets in the season opener on Sept. 10.

“All I can really say is there’s nothing serious going on, I’m being cautious with the training staff — trainers, doctors — my plan this year right now is to take it day by day, get healthy and do my best to get out there for Week 1 which I think is definitely the goal right now,’’ the 30-year-old Lang said on Wednesday.

Lang, who played in 13 games last season, said earlier this offseason it was the best he had felt in a long time. So obviously it’s a little frustrating for him now.

“Luckily for me I’m in a spot where there aren’t any drastic changes just the point where we are in the preseason and training camp I think it’s more caution than anything,’’ Lang said. “I think if it was regular season right now I”d be out here doing everything.’’

He doesn’t seem too concerned about the chemistry with right tackle Rick Wagner and center Graham Glasgow.

“I’ve played a lot of football with Rick and Graham so I think we do our best to kind of simulate what we do on the field in the meetings and the walk-throughs and things like that,’’ Lang said. “We do a good job of communicating even when I’m out there.’’

Coach Matt Patricia turned the tables when asked if it was harder to judge the chemistry on the offensive line with Lang not participating.

“I would say, actually, it’s a great opportunity for us to get a look at a couple of different situations and put some guys in some different spots. Whenever we have somebody that’s not practicing — it doesn’t matter if it’s the offensive line or the secondary or whatever it is, those are all just opportunities for other guys to have reps and to move some people around. Which, we’re going to have to do in order to play during the season,’’ Patricia said on Tuesday.

“You’re going to have to have guys that can play in different positions. And again, now is the opportunity to get a look at that. We can go out and practice at a high level every single day to compete — you get a better feel for those guys than really trying to wait until something happens Week 6, where now you’re trying to find out if a guy can switch positions,’’ Patricia said.

Lang was signed as a free agent in the spring of 2017 when he was coming off hip surgery. He had missed only nine games in eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

The Lions play their third preseason game at the Tampa Bay Bucs at 8 p.m. on Friday.

 

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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