Allen Park — Taylor Decker is returning to practice.
The injured offensive tackle, who had shoulder surgery in June, will be back on the field Wednesday for the Lions.
Without Decker, Detroit’s offensive line has been among the league’s worst. The run blocking and pass protection have equally suffered, with 30 percent of the team’s carries resulting in no gain or a loss of yardage, while quarterback Matthew Stafford has been sacked 25 times.
Decker, a first-round draft pick in 2016, didn’t miss an offensive snap as a rookie. After he suffered the injury, the Lions traded for former No. 2 pick Greg Robinson and signed Cyrus Kouandjio to compete for the job. Robinson won the camp battle and started the first six games before suffering an ankle injury. Brian Mihalik started Sunday against the Steelers.
While Decker is eligible to return to the lineup this Monday against the Packers, that is unlikely. He’ll probably need a little time to get back into football shape before seeing game action. Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead, who had a similar injury, practiced for more than two weeks before playing in a game.
The Lions have three weeks before they need to officially add Decker back to the active roster. Once that window expires, he must either be activated or placed on season-ending injured reserve.