Laken Tomlinson will remain Lions’ starting left guard

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park – The Detroit Lions are moving forward with Laken Tomlinson as their starting left guard.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Lions benched Tomlinson in favor of rookie Graham Glasgow, for the better part of three quarters. Coach Jim Caldwell called the switch pre-planned, even though Tomlinson was yanked from the lineup in the middle of a first-quarter drive.

But when asked who the starter would be next Sunday, when the Lions host the Los Angeles Rams, Caldwell didn’t withhold the information.

“Same as it’s been,” Caldwell said.

As for Glasgow, Caldwell said the rookie performed as expected during his offensive debut.

“He did OK,” Caldwell said. “He played like a young guy. He played tough, he played well, what you’d expect from his first game against the likes of (Eagles defensive tackle) Fletcher Cox and some of those guys they have up front.”

Tomlinson did come back into the game in the fourth quarter, replacing Glasgow.

Switching back and forth like that during a game seems like it could disrupt the chemistry developed through continuity up front, particularly with a rookie left tackle, but Caldwell dismissed that notion.

“We don’t think so, otherwise we wouldn’t do it,” Caldwell said.

Niyo: Playmakers Tate, Slay seize control

Tomlinson, the team’s first-round draft pick last year, has been struggling throughout the season. Both Caldwell and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter have commented, saying they’d like to see more consistency from the young guard.

Still, Caldwell said there’s nothing unique about Tomlinson’s development.

“I think the guy is developing like most offensive linemen do,” Caldwell said. “They don’t come into this league and play great for a few years. Oftentimes you’ll see them take a few years to get it because they’re just coming along. He’s played really well in some spurts and his development is coming along and I think he’s going to be fine.”