Penei Sewell’s test drive at left tackle is almost over, and as good as the Detroit Lions rookie has played, he said he expects to be in a new position when Taylor Decker returns, perhaps next week.
“I want him back,” Sewell said after training Friday. “No matter what it looks like and I think it will be him on the left and me on the right. And it will just make our line a lot better. He’s already a big name in this league, he’s already established himself , and I have to do the same. “
Sewell, the No. 7 pick in April’s draft, has played well and said the right things since switching to left tackle when Decker sustained a hand injury that required surgery four days before the Lions’ season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
He has allowed a sack, for the Pro Bowl to pass rusher Nick Bosa, in 212 offensive snaps and has been one of the Lions’ best running blockers.
Although Decker has been Lions primary primary tackle since 2016 and is in year 1 of a four-year contract extension, it may be in the organization’s best long – term interests to keep Sewell at left tackle.
Sewell, who turns 21 next week, has played better and seemed more comfortable at left tackle, the position he played exclusively in his two college seasons in Oregon. And the Lions (0-3) appear to be a year or two away from being competitive in their remodel.
Lions coach Dan Campbell said this week that he will figure out how best to set up the line when Decker returns.
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Sewell said he has done the right tackling work on the side to prepare for a setback, and said Decker’s presence is necessary at left tackle.
“Just again, this is a veteran group,” he said. “When he comes in, it will just make our game or our standard really rise to his level. He brings a whole different dynamic to this O-line and it really creates a whole different motivation for myself because he is the standard and I have to chase him and then go from there. “
In terms of how he has played so far, Sewell, who will pull the primary pass-blocking task on Bears sack leader Robert Quinn this week, has been his own toughest critic.
“I don’t like a particular way of wording it, but just not well enough,” Sewell said. “I have to get out every day, ready to win every rep. And there are a couple of occasions where my technique in passing and running went out of hand, so I just had to lock myself in the little things and get control them. “
Bear QB TBD
Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters on Friday that his starting quarterback for Sunday is a decision in playing time.
Andy Dalton, Bears starting the first two weeks, is doubtful with a knee injury. Campbell said he expects either Dalton or fellow veteran Nick Foles to start, and to rookie first round, Justin Fields chooses to play.
Fields was 6 out of 20, passing 68 yards and was fired nine times in a loss to the Cleveland Browns last week.
“I have no confidence in knowing who to start,” Campbell said Friday. “There again, we are prepared for who they will roll out.”
Outside linebacker, Trey Flowers is expected to miss his second straight knee and shoulder injury for the Lions, while Michael Brockers (shoulder), Romeo Okwara (shoulder) and D’Andre Swift (groin) are on track to practice in a third. day in a row.
Wet and wild
With scattered thunderstorms in the weather forecast Sunday, Campbell said the Lions used Thursday’s training to work on wet football.
“(You take) the five gallon buckets full of water, and you just drown them, and when it’s time to (snatch the ball), you pull them out, and they just drip water, and there you go,” Campbell said. “So yes, that’s the best way to do it.”
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.