Allen Park — The Lions could have their top five offensive linemen on the field Sunday.
In the first two games, the Lions exercised caution with top right tackle LaAdrian Waddle as he dealt with an elbow injury and continued to recover from January knee surgery. Looking ahead to Week 3 against the Denver Broncos, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he expects Waddle to play, though it’s unclear what role he’ll have.
And Waddle anticipates he’ll play, too and feels healthy enough to make his debut on Sunday night at Ford Field. Caldwell also said there’s a “possibility” Waddle will start at right tackle.
“I’ve been feeling good,” Waddle said. “I think we’re at the point to (where) I can get out on the field and know everything’s going to be feeling good and be ready to go.”
Thus far, Cornelius Lucas has struggled at right tackle for the Lions. Waddle was inactive in Week 1. He was available in Week 2, but Lucas remained the starter and played every offensive snap.
After the game last Sunday, Caldwell described the decision to start Lucas as one made by the coaches, which means Waddle likely had shown enough in practice to be considered healthy but wasn’t playing well enough to displace Lucas.
Lucas, though, is dealing with an ankle injury he suffered last Sunday and was limited in practice Wednesday, which could be the opening Waddle needs to reclaim his starting job.
Waddle said Thursday the coaches haven’t yet told the players who will start at right tackle. Despite being active, Waddle did not appear in Week 2, not even on special teams where the Lions typically feature backup offensive linemen.
“I just know I’m going to get out there at some point in time,” he said.