Do the Lions really have any other choice?
The Detroit Lions will be shorthanded on the offensive line for Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Right tackle Rick Wagner and starting center Travis Swanson have both been declared out for the game.
That leaves the Lions in a tough position. When Swanson has missed games in the past this season, the Lions have shifted Graham Glasgow to center, but that obviously leaves a hole at left guard. The Lions have had several players fill in for guard this season, including Corey Robinson, Emmett Cleary, Don Barclay, Zac Kerin and Tim Lelito.
But with Wagner out, their primary choice—Corey Robinson—will likely be busy starting at right tackle. Cleary is a possible choice at left guard, but he is also dealing with an injury and is questionable for Saturday. Kerin and Lelito are no longer on the team, leaving Detroit with just two options: Don Barclay or Joe Dahl, who was recently activated from the injured reserve list.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Will Joe Dahl make his first career start against the Chicago Bears?
My answer: I think he has to.
Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation for Detroit to be starting a guy like Dahl for the first time in his career during such a crucial game, but Barclay was not good in his only appearance with the team against the Ravens.
The Lions chose to activate Dahl from the injured reserve list for a reason. They knew they were short on interior offensive linemen and clearly they have some faith in him.
Dahl may only have 20 career offensive snaps to his name, but I get the feeling he’s going to see that number triple this week, as all signs point to his first career start.
If I had to guess, this is what the Lions’ offensive line will look like on Saturday (from left to right)
Taylor Decker - Joe Dahl - Graham Glasgow - T.J. Lang - Corey Robinson.