Lions T Taylor Decker begins practicing
- As reported by Ian Rapoport, offensive tackle Taylor Decker returns to practice this week for the Detroit Lions. Decker, the teams 2016 first-round pick, tore a shoulder labrum during offseason training and has been inactive ever since. A timetable for a return to game action has not yet been set.
- Decker will be a welcome addition. The Lions currently feature the 28th ranked offensive line in pass protection, as the unit boasts a pass-blocking efficiency of 73.3. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been under pressure on 38.8 percent of snaps and sacked 25 times, the second most in the league. The left tackle spot has been the Lions biggest issue in protecting the quarterback, with Greg Robinson (36.6 overall grade) and Brian Mihalik (32.4) leading the charge.
- As a rookie last season, Decker was impressive, ranking as the 25th best tackle in overall grade with a mark of 80.7. Out of 74 qualifiers he produced the 31st ranked pass-blocking efficiency with a mark 95.0, a figure that is drastically better than Robinson’s 92.2 or Mihalik’s 88.9 from this season.
- Worth noting, New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead suffered an eerily similar injury after Decker did his and has returned to action already for the Saints. He has been a top-25 tackle with an overall grade of 74.4 and a pass-blocking efficiency of 95.8.