Lions' rookie lineman Crosby expected to get first start Sunday
Allen Park — Tyrell Crosby is expected to get his first career start on Sunday at Buffalo as right tackle Rick Wagner has been ruled out with a concussion.
The fifth-round pick out of Oregon played 35 offensive snaps last week against Arizona after Wagner went down, more than in his six previous games combined.
“I think I like the effort that he plays with,” offensive line coach Jeff Davidson said. “We’ve got some things to clean up, but he’s got a lot of good football ahead of him.”
Crosby has blocked as an extra tight end at times this season and also has some potential inside at guard.
“We’ve kind of put him all over the field,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “He’s done a nice job. He’s a young player, he’s got a lot to learn, he knows it. But he gets out there in the moment, trusts himself and he goes out there and plays.”
On the other side of the line, left tackle Taylor Decker was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, as is linebacker Devon Kennard (hip), Stafford (back) and three backups.
As expected, wide receiver Bruce Ellington, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, running back Kerryon Johnson, and defensive back Charles Washington were also ruled out.
For Buffalo, cornerback Ryan Lewis (concussion), who started one game this season, was ruled out. Running backs LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory are questionable, and McCoy was limited in practice all week.
Back in his hands
Decker was limited in practice this week but was reunited with some important memorabilia.
The left tackle on Wednesday received the football he scored his first touchdown with in the Dec. 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, which he threw into the stands in a moment of excitement.
That night, he tweeted to fans hoping to get it back.
Within minutes, he received “a bunch of” messages with pictures of the fan, who traveled about three hours to the game, although Decker declined to reveal more details about the fan or what arrangement he made with him for the exchange.
“He told me he was a lifelong fan,” Decker said Friday. “Kind of blue collar, what the city embodies. Loves ball, loves coming to the games and just there having a good time with his friends.”
Within an hour of Decker's plea, the fan made his own Twitter account, and sent Decker a picture of the ball and his ticket in a message.
Decker, who faked a block and then caught an 11-yard pass from Stafford for the first touchdown of his life, said he verified the authenticity of the ball through a number on the ball which is catalogued by the league.
One more to go
After going in pads on Thursday, coach Matt Patricia said Friday the Lions have just one padded practice left this season with two more game weeks to go.
The collective bargaining agreement between owners and players limits teams to 14 padded practices during the regular season, 11 of which must be held in the first 11 weeks.
The Lions signed guard Salesi Uhatafe, an undrafted rookie from Utah formerly with Atlanta’s practice squad, to their own practice squad on Friday. Detroit released wide receiver Deontez Alexander from the practice squad.
The Lions lost guard Jamil Demby off the practice squad as he was poached by the Los Angeles Rams on Wednesday, meaning the Rams will have to keep Demby on the active roster at least three weeks.
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.