Skip to main content

KEY QUESTIONS: Will Sewell move back to right tackle when Decker returns?

Head coach Dan Campbell addressed the media Monday, a day after Detroit's 41-33 loss in the regular-season opener against San Francisco. Here are the key questions to come out of that media session:

How will the defense adjust to cornerback Jeff Okudah being lost for the season?

Campbell confirmed Monday what the team feared Sunday when Okudah went down with a non-contact injury in the fourth quarter. Okudah suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon injury that will require surgery and end his 2021 season.

Campbell mentioned rookie third-round pick Ifeatu Melifonwu as a player who is likely the next man up this week as the Lions prepare to travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers on Monday Night Football.

"He's quietly really improved," Campbell said of Melifonwu. "He's another guy from spring that has quietly had a good spring and a good camp. There's a good chance he's the next guy up, but look we've got two other young guys too in Bobby Price and Jerry Jacobs. We're going to put the best combination out there and see where we go."

Campbell has preached a next man up mentality since he took the job. Injuries are just a fact of life in the NFL.

I expect GM Brad Holmes to also add a veteran cornerback to the roster sooner rather than later as well.

How did Campbell evaluate Penei Sewell's debut at left tackle after watching the film?

"I thought he did a good job," Campbell said. "I thought he held his own"

Sewell was credited with allowing four quarterback hurries, two quarterback hits and no sacks, while mostly going up against 49ers elite edge rusher Nick Bosa. Not a bad stat line in his first NFL contest.

Sewell moved over to the left side after working all offseason and training camp at right tackle to fill in for the injured Taylor Decker, who was placed on IR last week.

Campbell said he got into the game and forgot about the left tackle position, which is a good thing and speaks to Sewell's solid performance.

Is the plan still to move Sewell back to right tackle when Decker returns from IR?

Decker will be out at least two more games, per NFL IR rules, so it's a decision the Lions won't have to make for a couple weeks.

Campbell said it's the farthest thing from his mind at the moment. His lone focus right now is just putting the best lineup on the field for Green Bay for Monday night's showdown at Lambeau Field against the Packers.

"We'll worry about that when Decker comes back," Campbell said. "But right now, we feel good with Sewell being at left."

Is there anything that jumped out on the tape good or bad from Sunday after watching it Monday that may have surprised Campbell?

Campbell said there wasn't anything that really jumped out to him, but more so just reaffirming what he thought leaving Ford Field Sunday night. He didn't think the defense moved the 49ers' offensive front the way they should have, and he also mentioned gap responsibilities needing to be better.

Offensively, he mentioned route depth needing to improve.

"Just all the little things that go with playing this game we have got to clean up," he said. "But the positive is that if we just clean those up, now let's see where we stand."

Any other injury news of note?

Veteran wide receiver Tyrell Williams was involved in a helmet-to-helmet hit that drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt early in the third quarter. Williams did not return to the game.

Campbell confirmed Monday that Williams is in the concussion protocol to begin the week.

Related Content