Lions' Matt Patricia uncertain to coach from sideline for preseason opener

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions head coach Matt Patricia watches over practice.

Allen Park — For the better part of two weeks, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia has been zipping around the team's practice field on an ATV while he heals from a postseason leg surgery. 

But unless the NFL makes an unexpected exception, Patricia will have to ditch the four wheeler for Thursday's preseason opener against the New England Patriots.

So what's the plan? 

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"For me, I’m day-by-day," Patricia said before Tuesday's practice. "We’re taking that approach. I’m working with our doctors here to try to figure out what’s best for myself to be safe on the sideline, from that standpoint. We’re working through all of that.

"I don’t think I’ll be riding the ATV around, unfortunately, on the sideline," Patricia said. "We just have to figure out how I can have some mobility and be in a position where I’m not kind of in the mix of any sort of situation."

Obviously, the biggest concern is Patricia getting in the way during a contested play near the sideline and risking a setback in his recovery. And given the dense turf, even by the benches, it would be tough for him to use a knee cart to move around. 

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That could mean he'll have to coach from the box, seven stories above the field. That's something he'd prefer not to do. 

"I’m always hoping to be on the sideline, so we’ll see on Thursday," he said. "I’ve got 48 hours or so here to try to get that right."

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers