Lions' T.J. Lang, Cornelius Washington surprise scratches

NEW ORLEANS -- Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's protection issues just got a little bit worse.

Right guard T.J. Lang, who has been dealing with back issues the past couple of weeks, was officially inactive Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Tim Lelito, who played for the Saints from 2013-16, could start in Lang's place off an offensive line that has given up 12 sacks the past two weeks. Emmett Cleary could also be a possibility.

The Lions had been monitoring Lang's practice reps since the start of training camp, when he was coming off hip and foot injuries. He hurt his back two weeks ago against the Minnesota Vikings but shook it off to finish the game. He also played last week against the Carolina Panthers, but only practiced on Thursday this week.

Detroit's defensive line will also be weakened with Cornelius Washington inactive. Washington had not been listed on the injury report at all during the week and showed no signs of injury in previous games.

With Washington out, that could mean more reps for Jeremiah Valoaga and George Johnson at defensive end. Defensive tackle Datone Jones, who signed earlier this week, is inactive, and the Lions' other interior line signing, Caraun Reid, is active.

The Lions also made Dwayne Washington (quad) inactive again. He was questionable and practiced on a limited basis all week. Zach Zenner will get work, as usual, in Washington's place. Kenny Golladay (hamstring) remains inactive again after barely practicing this week.

Both Dwayne Washington and Cornelius Washington were out running with other inactives during warmups, a sign that both could be healthy scratches.