The news Saturday that starting left tackle Taylor Decker is headed to injured reserve was not the news Lions fans wanted to hear a day before the start of the regular season.
Decker had surgery on an injured finger/hand Saturday, and tweeted afterward that the surgery "went well." Per NFL rules, Decker will miss at least the next three games. It's not an ideal situation heading into a matchup Sunday against a talented San Francisco defensive front, led by edge rusher Nick Bosa.
Rookie first-round pick Penei Sewell took left tackle reps on Thursday and Friday after Decker suffered the injury on Wednesday. He'd been playing almost exclusively at right tackle since the Lions took him with the No. 7 overall pick back in April, but he played left tackle his two seasons in college at Oregon.
As a result of Decker going on IR, the team signed guard Tommy Kraemer from the practice squad to the active roster and elevated newly signed tackle Will Holden from the practice squad pursuant to the standard elevation addendum, which was a rule implemented last year that allows two practice squad players to be elevated on gameday and they revert back to the practice squad on Monday. Holden is active Sunday, while Kraemer is inactive.
With Sewell expected to slide over to left tackle, the Lions have options on the right side. They can start swing tackle Matt Nelson at right tackle, or they can move former tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai from right guard to right tackle and start someone else at guard.
The Lions did get some good news on the injury front Sunday, however. Defensive ends Michael Brockers (shoulder) and Nick Williams (elbow), along with cornerback AJ Parker (shoulder) were listed as questionable to play Sunday on Friday's injury report, but all are active.
The Lions' defense won't have rookie second-round pick Levi Onwuzurike (hip), though. He was also listed as questionable and is inactive. Onwuzurike was a limited participant in practice all week.
Along with Kraemer and Onwuzurike, also inactive for the Lions Sunday are: Outside linebacker Julian Okwara, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, running back Jermar Jefferson and wide receiver Tom Kennedy.
The Lions have opted to keep running back Godwin Igwebuike active over Jefferson, which is likely more special teams related. Okwara is a healthy scratch.