Allen Park — The Detroit Lions made the decision to part ways with veteran guard T.J. Lang this offseason, but there are no hard feelings. In fact, the relationship between the recently retired lineman and his hometown team appears as strong as ever.
Lang was a welcomed guest at the team's first OTA practice Monday.
"He shot me a text and said, ‘Hey, do you mind if I come by?’" Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "T.J. and I have a great relationship. He’s somebody that I’m really close to. He’s obviously a veteran member of our organization that was here, and I leaned on a lot last year and had some great conversations with. He just stopped by, wanted to see everybody and he was out and about. So, it was just great to see him."
Lang, who grew up in Michigan and played collegiately at Eastern Michigan University, spent two seasons with the Lions after eight in Green Bay. He battled a number of injuries in recent years, including multiple concussions. Collectively, those injuries cost him 13 games the past two years.
Detroit released Lang with one season remaining on the three-year deal he signed in 2017 and he announced his retirement shortly after.
In his 10-year career, he appeared in 138 games, starting 113. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017 and won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2011.
"T.J. is definitely such a great resource," former teammate Frank Ragnow said. "Before he retired, I think he reached out to all of us and made sure to let us know he’s here for us, no matter what. It’s great to have around and whatever he can offer, I’ll take."
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