KEY QUESTIONS: What is Tavai's status after suffering shoulder injury in Denver?

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday following his team's 27-17 loss in Denver Sunday. The Lions host the Green Bay Packers this upcoming Sunday in the regular season finale at Ford Field.

Here are the key questions to come out of Patricia's press conference:

Is there an injury update on Jahlani Tavai?

The rookie linebacker left Sunday's game in the first half with a shoulder injury and did not return. It turns out the injury is significant.

"Jahlani Tavai is going to be placed on IR today," Patricia said to open his press conference.

Patricia also confirmed it's the same shoulder Tavai injured his senior year at Hawaii that ended his college career prematurely.

He doesn't know yet if the injury will force Tavai to miss any of the offseason training program.

Detroit's second-round pick this offseason finishes his rookie season with 57 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.

Tavai joins starters Jarrad Davis and Christian Jones on IR to end the year.

Would Patricia be interested in coaching the Senior Bowl if given the opportunity?

It's an opportunity given to the two teams with the worst winning percentage that keep their head coach and most of their coaching staff intact. As it stands right now, Cincinnati, Washington and Detroit have the three worst winning percentages on the year. Washington, however, has an interim head coach and could be going through a coaching change this offseason.

That would make Cincinnati and Detroit the likely selections to coach the game. The Lions last coached the Senior Bowl in 2013. The team ended up drafting Ziggy Ansah and Larry Warford, who both took part in the Senior Bowl as players that year.

"I know the Senior Bowl has a lot of great benefits to it," Patricia said. "Obviously having an opportunity to spend time with those guys kind of in those settings is great."

If given the opportunity, Patricia said he'll try and use it as much to his advantage as possible.

Has backup quarterback Kyle Sloter learned the offense enough for Patricia to feel confident about playing him?

Sloter has played well in the preseason with much of his early career spent in Minnesota.

An undrafted free agent out of Northern Colorado, Sloter's completed better than 72 percent of his passes in the preseason with 11 touchdowns in 12 games. He has yet to get an opportunity in the regular season, however.

Will Sloter get a chance to play at all Sunday in the season finale?

"I think he's done a really good job since he's gotten here learning the offense and understanding the intricacies of what we're doing," Patricia said.

"But I think right now the biggest thing for the quarterbacks specifically is each week just learning that week's game plan. That's the most important thing and I think that's one thing he's done a good of preparing himself to be ready to go if something were to happen."

Patricia said he'd be confident in Sloter being able to execute the game plan if asked to do so.

How is undrafted rookie guard Beau Benzschawel coming along?

The former Wisconsin offensive lineman has been inactive most of the season, but is currently playing a backup role behind veterans Graham Glasgow and Oday Aboushi on gameday with Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins now on IR.

"I think he's coming along as we expected, learning obviously the NFL game and playing a little bit of multiple positions for us," Patricia said. "He does a good job moving around, especially on the look teams for us during the week and giving us some position flexibility there. I think that helps his overall development."

Patricia said Benzschawel has done a particularly good job with his physical development and adding muscle to his frame. Benzschawel will be someone who tries to put his hat into the mix this offseason for playing time in 2020.

Related Content

Advertising