Kerry Hyder's 'significant' Achilles injury major concern for Lions' thin D-line

From ESPN - August 13, 2017

Kerry Hyder lay near the Indianapolis goal line clutching his left leg. The preseason was less than a quarter old. One of the biggest things NFL teams want to do in preseason games is get out of them with starters and key contributors healthy. So no matter what else happened during Detroits 24-10 preseason win at Indianapolis on Sunday, Hyders injury overshadowed it.

And if it turns out to be serious -- the cart came out for Hyder and Lions coach Jim Caldwell called it "significant" -- thats a massive blow for the Lions and a defensive line that has already been dealing with injuries (Ezekiel Ansah, Cornelius Washington) and suspensions (Armonty Bryant, Khyri Thornton) to starters and key contributors.

QB depth chart: Matthew Stafford played one drive and it ended with an interception -- but on a pass that should have been caught by Marvin Jones. The ball popped in the air and fell into John Simon's hands. After that, Jake Rudock took over and completed 13 of 21 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He left the game with 10 minutes, 15 seconds left in the third quarter for rookie Brad Kaaya, who finished the game going 8-of-11 for 71 yards and a touchdown.

When it was starters vs. starters, the Lions looked: Decent. The offense didnt get much run and Staffords only series ended in an interception. But the better news is that the majority of the offensive line -- particularly left tackle Greg Robinson -- held up well. Thats important considering the potential issues there. Defensively, Detroit did pretty well, holding the Colts scoreless and forcing three three-and-outs.

One reason to be concerned: Hyders lower-leg injury in the first quarter. He started to slip turning the corner while rushing the passer and immediately fell to the ground. Detroits sack leader last year with eight, Hyder is expected to be a strong No. 2 rusher behind Ansah, who is still on the PUP list. The depth chart behind Ansah, Hyder, Washington and Bryant is thin and inexperienced. This was one area the Lions didnt address heavily in the offseason, and it might come back to hurt them -- badly. Anthony Zettel's role becomes even bigger if Hyder's injury is as bad as it sounds. Add that Brandon Copeland went to the locker room during the second half Sunday, according to the TV broadcast, and that defensive line depth is non-existent.

That guy could start: Robinson has been in a competition with Cyrus Kouandjio to replace Taylor Decker at left tackle. Robinson got all of the reps with the first team and handled himself well. He opened up a couple of rushing lanes for Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner and did well in pass protection, giving Stafford and Rudock pockets. It looks more and more like Robinson might win the gig without as much competition as it might have seemed.


Continue reading at ESPN »