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Camp Notes: Rookies Gibbs & Campbell benefiting from first-team reps

There are some NFL teams that ease their rookies in during training camp, playing them with the second or third teams to slowly work them up to first-team reps.

When it comes to first-round picks Jahmyr Gibbs and Jack Campbell in Detroit, that hasn't been the case. Gibbs was taking first-team reps Day 1 in camp and Campbell has shown he can handle first-team reps on defense and is getting them as he tries to earn a starting job next to Alex Anzalone at one of the two stacked linebacker spots.

"Any time you get any of those reps – I'm blessed with the gifts I've been given by the lord so when I go out there just soaking it in," Campbell said after Sunday's practice. "Hearing how Alex (Anzalone) goes through things. What he sees and the checks he makes.

"For me, I'm just trying to learn along the way. So, anytime I get an opportunity to play with the ones it's another good opportunity to see what a one offense looks like. Seeing best vs. best has been good to kind of get that experience."

Gibbs and veteran David Montgomery appear to be 1A and 1B in Detroit's backfield through the first week of camp. Montgomery has a terrific ability to make the first tackler miss, and Gibbs is a big play waiting to happen every time he touches the ball in the run or pass game.

"It's very important getting us ready for future games and the big games we have in the future," Gibbs said of getting first-team reps.

If the first week of training camp in Allen Park is any indication, Gibbs and Campbell are expected to play big roles very early for Detroit.


Detroit Lions Pro Bowl right tackle Penei Sewell was absent from Saturday's padded practice in Allen Park, and now we know why.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell said before Sunday's light practice that Sewell is in the NFL's return-to-play concussion protocol. Campbell didn't say when Sewell suffered the concussion, but said he won't be back until Wednesday at the earliest.

"But he's doing good," Campbell said of Sewell. "He was good (Saturday) so he's moving right along. Just trying to be safe."

Sewell was out watching practice on Sunday. He is expected to have a monster season in 2023 in his third year. He was graded as one of the top right tackles in the game last year by Pro Football Focus and was the first Lions tackle to make the Pro Bowl since Lomas Brown in 1995.


One of the highlights from the Lions' time on "Hard Knocks" last training camp was Aidan Hutchinson's rookie performance of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" in front of the entire team.

What did Campbell and Gibbs do for their rookie performances this year?

Campbell sang "A Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams Jr. and Gibbs sang "Let Me Love You" by Mario.

"It went good," Campbell said. "I think they liked it."


We won't see rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker on the field anytime soon as he continues to rehab a torn ACL suffered in college last November, but he's still getting his work in. Hooker goes through a pretty good post-practice routine on the field every other day with the training staff and strength coaches.

"It's our plays, it's our reads and so he goes through the drops, makes the play-call, goes through the drops, throws and then has his sprint and he takes it down the field and he goes through the next play and we'll go through – you'll go through a 30-play script somewhere in there and we just continue to build as he gets his conditioning up and the knee gets stronger," Dan Campbell said.

"So, that's about as good as we can do right now. He's in the meetings. He's being quizzed and so I think we're doing about all we can do with him and he's doing good, to answer your question, he's doing good. There's no setbacks. He's working at it. It's about it, really."

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