Normally, the bye week in the NFL is an opportunity for players to get away from football, clear their minds and rest their bodies. But like everything else surrounding the 2020 NFL season, nothing is normal. Players are still required to perform daily testing for COVID-19, even on the bye, so there's no vacations or really getting away.
Players will still be able to rest and clear their minds of football with no practice or meetings, but they'll have to do it in Detroit.
Things haven't played out early this season like the Lions had hoped. They're 1-3 after four games, and haven't played well in really any aspect outside of maybe special teams.
There's pressure on the coaching staff to find the right buttons to push to turn things around, but veteran safety Duron Harmon said the players should feel the same pressure too.
"At the end of the day, we're players, we have to make plays," Harmon said. "We're out there in position to make plays and in certain situation we're not making plays we need to make. It's on us.
"Matt P (Matt Patricia) and Cory (defensive coordinator Cory Undlin) and Steve (defensive back coach Steve Gregory) are doing a good job trying to put us in the right positions to make plays. But at the end of the day, we have to look at ourselves, as the players out there making plays, and we have to ask ourselves, 'Are we doing enough to make the plays?'"
Harmon, a team captain on defense, is hopeful players take the opportunity this week to be honest with themselves and look in the mirror and ask themselves if they've done enough to change the outcome early this season. If not, what will it take to do more?
"We're not playing the way we need to play," Harmon said. "And it's not on the coaches. It's on us as individuals and players. We're the ones getting paid millions of dollars to play football. Like, you have to think about that.
"We're paid millions of dollars to play football, to play at a high level, and if you're not playing at a high level, you're not doing your job, and we have to have accountability to play better football, especially in got-to-have-it situations."
Harmon said there needs to be more consistency. Things can't be done right one play and not the next. He talked about players doing their own job and no one else's.
Harmon is actually a little mad the bye has fallen when it has for Detroit this week. He's anxious to go back out there and fix what hasn't been working through the first four games.
"It's up to me as a leader, as a captain of this team, to drive that," Harmon said.
Harmon's wife's birthday is Thursday, so he said that will be his focus on Thursday, but after that, he's shifting his focus quickly to Jacksonville, who the Lions play on the road Week 6.
"I'm going to be watching Jacksonville. I'm going to be studying Jacksonville," he said. "Because at the end of the day, the only thing on my mind is winning and the next person that's in the way is Jacksonville.
"I'm going to figure out how I can help this team. I have to be better. I have to play better. I have to be better. I have to do everything better, because obviously what I'm doing is not enough. So, I have to do more."
Both center Frank Ragnow and defensive end Trey Flowers also spoke to the media Monday, and said the unique situation surrounding the bye this year could be an opportunity for them to use some of the time off to self-scout and get better.
"Yeah, I think it's a great opportunity just as far as, like you said, evaluate ourselves as a team and individually," Flowers said. "I guess you can say that us having to stick around more, probably the guys will get a little more rest than they might usually get due to the unique circumstances. What the goal is obviously to evaluate and to get better coming out of the bye."