Lions’ Glasgow getting better, still way behind Swanson

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Graham Glasgow

Allen Park – When the Detroit Lions selected Michigan’s Graham Glasgow in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft, many assumed the writing was on the wall for starting center Travis Swanson. But so far into training camp, Glasgow has made little headway in the competition for the job.

Swanson started the preseason opener and has taken nearly all the first-team reps this offseason, despite coming back from a shoulder injury that ended his 2015 campaign.

That’s not to say Glasgow hasn’t made some progress. While he’s dealt with the inconsistencies that plague most rookie linemen adjusting to the speed and strength of NFL defenders, he’s made a small climb up the depth chart, moving past veteran Gabe Ikard on to the second-team offense.

That’s where Glasgow worked in the preseason opener, playing 28 snaps in the win over the Steelers. After reviewing the film from the game, coach Jim Caldwell said Glasgow did “all right, for a young guy.”

Levy back, expects to be ready for Lions’ opener

Asked about the competition with Swanson, Caldwell said the rookie hasn’t reached a point in his development where that’s a conversation.

“I think the big thing that he’s doing right now is he’s competing with himself first to make certain he understands everything that we’re doing, how we get it done,” Caldwell said. “That’s a chore unto itself. Then I think they get to the point where now they’ve got a good grasp of things so they can move along and they can really get in there and fight and compete.”

It wouldn’t be unusual for Glasgow to not play much, if at all, as a rookie. Also a third-round draft pick, Swanson played sparingly his debut season before a full-time move into the starting lineup his second year with the team.

Injury update

Linebacker Josh Bynes and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz returned to practice Tuesday. Absent were offensive tackle Michael Ola, linebacker Zaviar Gooden, safety Don Carey and tight ends Eric Ebron and Matthew Mulligan.

Ola and Carey suffered leg injuries during Monday’s practice. Mulligan, a new name to the wounded list, wasn’t even on the sidelines during Tuesday’s session. Caldwell confirmed the veteran tight end was still with the team and noted there wasn’t an immediate concern the issue would keep Mulligan from the lineup long-term.