The Film Don't Lie: Lions

A weekly look at what the Detroit Lions must fix:

The Lions have dealt with injuries all season long, but now the team is in a bit of a jam because those injuries are starting to pile up on an already fragile offensive line. Considering Detroit faces an Arizona run defense that is third in yards per game allowed (78.56) and fourth in yards per rush (3.35) in the NFL, that is going to be a problem Sunday.

Detroit gained 3.3 yards per carry against Miami, and if they are without both right guard Larry Warford (likely) and right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (unknown), it is going to be a major issue for the offense. The Lions will likely slide rookie Travis Swanson in to replace Warford as they did against Miami.

Right tackle is another issue and becomes a little trickier if Waddle is out. When he had been injured in the past, the Lions used a rotation of rookie Cornelius Lucas and veteran Garrett Reynolds at right tackle and could do so because of the talent and experience of Warford. Without him, the Lions are going to have to stick to one player -- likely Lucas -- if they are going to have any success.

Don't be surprised if Detroit ends up looking more to quick passes into the flat or running over the center or left side of the line. According to Pro Football Focus, Detroit has already been doing that somewhat, as they have 35 rushes over center, 25 in the gap between center and left guard and 23 between left guard and left tackle. The problem is they haven't averaged more than 3.3 yards a carry in any of those gaps, so this has to improve. In the passing game, this could also mean more quick reads and short passes for Matthew Stafford instead of longer-developing routes to mask potential problems on the line's right side.