This Sunday, as the NFL preseason was just kicking off, the Detroit Lions took the field to go head to head with the Indianapolis Colts. The game itself was a rather dull affair. The Lions managed to topple the Colts 24-10 with relative ease. However, the game did give a considerable bit of insight into what fans could expect this season, and the game’s key injury may have far reaching implications.
The three different quarterbacks that manned the helm for Detroit, Matthew Stafford, Jake Rudock, and Brad Kaaya, all played capably. Stafford, the starter, was only under center for their first drive. Although he ended that drive by throwing an interception, the pick was not entirely his fault. His intended receiver, Marvin Jones, bobbled the ball into air, where it was caught by Colts’ linebacker John Simon. Jake Rudock then took the reigns for a sizeable chunk of the game and completed 13 out of 21 passes, passing for 142 yards and throwing two touchdowns. The rookie Brad Kaaya finished out the game. He completed eight of his 11 passes, throwing for 71 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions relied heavily on the passing game in this outing, leaving it nearly impossible to predict how effective their ground game will be in the coming months. Even still, Detroit fans should take heart, as running back Ameer Abdullah seems to have recovered completely from the foot injury that ended his 2016 season.
While there may be many causes for celebration in the Lions’ organization, defensive lineman Kerry Hyder’s injury is certainly not one of them. According to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, Detroit’s head coach Jim Caldwell called called Hyder’s injury a “significant Achilles injury.” The injury occurred during the first quarter as Hyder pursued Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien. He slipped and immediately began holding his left leg.
There is a silver lining for Lions fans in the long shadow cast by Hyder’s injury. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay emerged as a serious threat. The rookie from Northern Illinois was the 96th pick in the 2017 NFL draft and is now considered by many to have been a major draft steal. He was able to catch three passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Most impressively, his first catch was made with one hand while he was in the air and being hit. While this feat came against a second string defense, the Lions’ front office is no doubt impressed.
[Featured Image by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]