After sharing practices in Allen Park this week, the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars will play their second preseason game against one other on Saturday at Ford Field.
Young players have another chance to gain game experience, and coaches can try to get a better idea of some roster places and position competitions.
Below are five things to watch out for later this afternoon at Football Study Hall.
#1. A game with no starters
Similar to last week's preseason-opening against the Giants, head coach Dan Campbell stated this week he doesn't intend to use the starting lineup. The collaborative practice work the starters have participated in over the past two weeks is a major factor in this, along with the effort to keep everyone healthy for the regular season.
The benefits of joint practices for coaches include the ability to provide their starters 40 to 50 excellent reps against a variety of opponents and playing styles without having to worry about their quarterback being hit. They can also regulate the duration of live hitting and physical contact. In a regulated setting, the work is excellent.
Campbell added that a few chosen youngsters might not play today. The Lions feature several rookies who are already making significant contributions to their respective first-team squads, including linebacker Jack Campbell, defensive back Brian Branch, tight end Sam LaPorta, and defensive tackle Brodric Martin.
2. A show of good performances
Their capacity to layer strong performances on top of one another might distinguish young players battling for the final few roster places. I singled out defensive back Brian Branch, outside linebacker Julian Okwara, wide receiver Chase Cota, tight end James Mitchell, and wide receiver Maurice Alexander for praise for their performance in the preseason opener last week against New York. For latest on the NFL playoff betting, check out busr.ag latest one on here at NFL playoff betting.
Cota, Alexander, Antoine Green, and Dylan Drummond have a particularly wonderful potential to make a significant impression today among the young guys, according to Campbell, who claimed this week that the final two receiver positions are wide open.
The easiest method to gain the coaches' confidence and subsequently a roster spot is to consistently demonstrate your playmaking abilities day after day, week after week, and game after game.
To fight for the position of backup to starting quarterback Jared Goff, the Lions signed veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last week. This week, Bridgewater participated in his first team practice and then in joint practices with the Jaguars on Wednesday and Thursday.
Today's game activity is anticipated for Bridgewater as he works to memorize the playbook and become more at ease with his teammates.
4. Special teams battle to see
Today's game and the upcoming weeks will be crucial in deciding who will start the season as the kicker because Riley Patterson and Parker Romo's competition still seems too close to call. Will Romo get the opportunity to impress with his big leg and win a job that seems to be going Patterson's way?
What about the job of the kickoff return? It's wide open going into the last two exhibition games as the Lions try to fill the void left by Justin Jackson's sudden retirement as a running back. Will someone formally claim it?
5. A look at the edge rushers
This group is pretty interesting. The diverse and deep group could force GM Brad Holmes to make some difficult choices. In the first preseason game, Julian Okwara had a fantastic three-sack performance. Romeo Okwara, the older sibling, added a second sack and played well overall. James Houston, a second-year outside linebacker, made some outstanding rushes off the edge.
The Lions are attempting to determine not only the last available roster spots along the edge but also the play time distribution and pecking order behind starters Aidan Hutchinson and Charles Harris. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the coming weeks as there are still many issues that need to be resolved along the defensive line's edge.