Welcome, finally, to the regular season.
Though the Detroit Lions are among the last teams to actually kick off the season Monday night against the New York Giants, they start everything Monday, when the team returns to practice this afternoon as a 53-man roster for the first time (not including the 10 practice squad players).
There are some issues to get through, though, between this morning and a week from now, when the season actually starts.
Who is the right tackle? This is the lone starting position not finalized yet, as LaAdrian Waddle and Corey Hilliard continue to compete at the position. Might find out as early as Monday who won the competition, but both have shown they can play. The Lions can drag this out a few more days because both players lined up next to right guard Larry Warford last season during games, but for continuity's sake, it is better to handle this earlier than later.
What to do with Kyle Van Noy? The prevailiing thought is Van Noy is headed for injured reserve with a designation to return. This will give Van Noy time to heal from his core muscle surgery last week and won't take up a roster spot early in the season. If Van Noy heads to IR on Tuesday, don't be surprised if the Lions bring back a veteran they already had in camp or go after one recently released.
That said, who is the SAM linebacker? Van Noy probably wasn't starting the opener yet anyway. He just wasn't ready yet. Tahir Whitehead appears to have won this competition -- after not even starting the preseason playing at SAM full-time. Now, he has emerged as one of the team's top three linebackers. It will be either him or Ashlee Palmer when the team goes into a 4-3 on Monday night.
What about Champ Bailey? He is the big name on the free agent wire now and general manager Martin Mayhew has not shied away from going after veteran cornerbacks in the past (Rashean Mathis, Drayton Florence) if he thinks it will help his team. The question is if Bailey has anything left at age 36. He only played in five games last season. He also missed about three weeks of training camp dealing with a foot injury. Is he worth bringing in for a workout? Possibly.
And now, a look at Lions news from around the Interwebs:
A look at what cut day is typically like from the players who live it.
The bubble players stand out on the Detroit roster, writes Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press.
Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News writes the Lions have already had an impact on this season.
Will Ndamukong Suh be a captain, wonders Kyle Meinke of MLive.
The amazing, inspiring story of "Eddie from Malden," a radio caller in Boston who has not let blindness stop him, writes Billy Baker in the Boston Globe.