Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff are going to get a good look at the back half of their roster Thursday night in Buffalo.
QB Matthew Stafford (Photo: Gavin Smith)
The Lions won’t play a vast majority of their starters in the fourth and final preseason game. That means a player like quarterback Kellen Moore
will get a lot of playing time and an opportunity to make a case for inclusion in the 53-man roster, which the Lions have to decide by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, receivers Calvin Johnson
and Golden Tate
, running back Reggie Bush
, center Dominic Raiola
, guard Rob Sims
and tight end Brandon Pettigrew
will watch the game in street clothes.
The same goes for the starters on defense.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
, cornerback Rashean Mathis
, defensive end Jason Jones
, safeties James Ihedigbo
and Don Carey
and linebacker Kyle Van Noy
Getting the start will be Kevin Ogletree
and Kris Durham
at receiver.Garrett Reynolds
will start at left guard and Travis Swanson
Joe Fauria is getting the nod in place of Pettigrew at tight end, while Theo Riddick
will fill in for Bush at running back.
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley
will start at defensive tackle and Devin Taylor
at defensive end.Tahir Whitehead
is getting his second start at the SAM linebacker spot.Bill Bentley
is starting at cornerback in place of Mathis and Isa Abdul-Quddus
at safety for Ihedigbo.
This will give a number of backups an opportunity to make a case for inclusion on the final roster.
Coaches and front office personnel will be able to meet and watch the tape from this game on Friday and make some final determinations for position battles at right tackle, running back, receiver and safety to name a few.
“Well this game is really important to a lot of our guys, (especially) to those that are in tight battles,” Caldwell said. “This is kind of the point of the roster where these games count heavily for the individuals that are playing in the games.”