Lions’ T.J. Lang ready to leave last season’s injuries behind

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Detroit Lions guard T.J. Lang spent half of last season on the injury report, but unlike the previous two years, none of those issues lingered into the offseason or required surgery.

“I can’t make any predictions here, but this is the first time I’ve done an offseason workout in three years, so I’m definitely excited about that,” Lang said during a Thursday press conference.

The Lions signed Lang as a free agent last year, despite the fact the eight-year veteran was coming off hip surgery. When the team was beginning its offseason program in 2017, he was just getting off crutches. He didn’t begin practicing until training camp, and even then, it was on a limited basis.

Despite being banged up much of last season, Lang appeared in 13 games and was Detroit’s best offensive lineman, earning his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. He acknowledged he was frustrated by his injuries, but said he’s well beyond thinking about last year.

“At the time, it was frustrating, but right now, I don’t think there’s one guy in the locker room who is talking about last year,” he said. “It’s well-documented the things that we went through, especially as an offensive line, injury-wise and obviously performance. We’re not going to (linger) on that. We’re going to try to learn from our mistakes, got some new guys in that room, it’s a totally different team this year. We’re going to have to figure out what we do well and move forward from there.”

As Lang noted, the Lions’ line struggled with durability and production. Because of injuries, the team started 10 different combinations last year. And while not entirely the fault of the blocking, the ground game and pass protection both struggled. The Lions finished last in the NFL in rushing and quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked 47 times, a career-high.