After turnover trouble in Green Bay, Lions practicing for inclement conditions in Chicago
Allen Park — On Monday Night Football two weeks ago, the weather got the best of the Detroit Lions in a 35-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Despite holding a three-point lead at the half, the Lions failed to score the final two quarters, turning the ball over four times, including a botched snap by Jared Goff as the rain started to pick up that evening. The veterans quarterback also put a second ball on the ground, on third down, and even though the Lions recovered that one, it killed a drive.
While Midwestern forecasts are far from certain, the Friday projection for Sunday's game in Chicago is the Lions could be in for some more wet weather. And after their earlier struggles, the team is putting in some work on the practice field this week in an effort to be more prepared.
“We did that yesterday, we had wet footballs," Lions coach Dan Campbell said. "We talked about footing today and then I know they’re tarping the field. They re-sodded it and they’re tarping the field Saturday. I think they will be all right. The big thing will be just our guys making sure that they test their shoes when we get out there. But, we’ve talked about it, we’ll be ready for that.”
With the footballs, Campbell explained the team stores them in a five-gallon bucket of water during practice to simulate what gripping the ball could be like in the event the skies open up.
"You just drown them and then when it’s time to use the snap, you pull them out and they’re just dripping with water and there you go," he said. "That’s the best way to do it.”
St. Brown's showing
It's been a quiet start for rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. Despite averaging 40 snaps per game, he's seen just 10 throws his direction the first three contests, catching six balls for 43 yards.
Despite the muted production, the Lions have been pleased with the way he's been performing while waiting for more opportunities.
"There's only one football," offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said. "He's doing a heck of a job, but some of the ways he's helping the team doesn't show up in the stat column. His route running, his blocking is unbelievable. He's doing some really good things. I'm very pleased with him."
The Lions have seen minimal production from their receivers through three games with Kalif Raymond's 11 grabs for 136 yards pacing the group. With No. 1 option Tyrell Williams on the shelf with a concussion for at least a few more weeks, the team is still waiting for someone to step up and take the bull by the horns.
" I think St. Brown is close," Campbell said. "I think he’s due to have a game for us. He does a ton of dirty work for us. I think his opportunities are going to come."
Outside linebacker Trey Flowers missed his sixth consecutive practice on Friday and is trending toward missing a second straight game with knee and shoulder injuries.
"He is better than he was last week, that’s for sure, but I would say he’s tilting towards probably being out right now," Campbell said.
Campbell noted the confidence in the team's edge rushing depth makes it easier to be conservative with Flowers as he recovers from his various issues.
"To be honest with you, we’re in a pretty good place just depth-wise," Campbell said. "This is the right thing for Trey, too, which in turn is also the right thing for us long-term. I think if we can get him back to where he’s feeling really good, I think in the long run, that’s going to be a good thing for him and for us."