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Decker on road to recovery after shoulder surgery

Detroit's retooled offensive line has received its first bit of bad news for the 2017 season.

Starting left tackle Taylor Decker suffered a shoulder injury during OTA practices last week and underwent surgery on Monday.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell broke the news to the media on Tuesday and didn't have a timetable for Decker's return.

"It got repaired and we'll see how he progresses along," Caldwell said. "The doctors will certainly give us updates as he goes … he's on the road to recovery."

Caldwell said he'd give an updated timetable for Decker's return at the start of training camp in late July.

Decker is coming off a tremendous rookie season in which he played every snap at left tackle and was named to the Pro Football Writer's All-Rookie Team.

He was graded among the Top 12 left tackles in the game by Pro Football Focus after allowing just 4.5 sacks in 16 games, per STATS INC., playing more than 1,000 snaps.

The Lions have some in-house options to replace Decker if the injury lingers into the season, but Caldwell didn't rule out the option of also bringing in someone from the outside to help their numbers at that spot.

Corey Robinson, who is also recovering from an injury this offseason, was the team's swing tackle last year. He played in 14 games and made three starts.

Veteran Cornelius Lucas has played in 35 games for the Lions with six starts over the last three seasons.

Also, second-year lineman Joe Dahl has been playing some tackle since Decker's injury. A former tackle in college turned guard last season, Dahl has experience playing left tackle.

"We do have some in-house answers," Caldwell said.

The injury is certainly a blow to the offensive line. The Lions are already without free-agent signee guard T.J. Lang because of a hip injury. Lang is expected to be ready for training camp.

They're also breaking in a new right tackle after signing veteran Rick Wagner in free agency.

Any significant time missed by Decker will certainly hinder that unit's ability to become a cohesive unit right from the get go.

"It's just kind of the nature of our game," Caldwell said. "You have to adjust and that's one of the things that our personnel office does a great job of. I think our players do a tremendous job of. We'll adjust and keep moving."

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