With the conclusion of Friday's third and final preseason game for the Detroit Lions – a 27-17 loss to the Colts – one of the most difficult jobs for any head coach or general manager in the NFL begins Saturday morning in Allen Park.
The Lions have to trim 27 players from their roster by Tuesday's deadline, though the team can sign 16 players back on their practice squad on Wednesday.
Still, telling players they didn't make the cut after all the hard work in training camp this summer is a difficult job Campbell isn't looking forward to.
"I'll be with the staff tomorrow morning and we'll kind of go over final thoughts on what they think will help in their own areas," Campbell said. "AG (defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn), A Lynn (offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn) and Fipp (special teams coordinator Dave Fipp) and we'll kind of dive into all that. Where they rank those players at their positions as a total offense, defense and special teams."
General manager Brad Holmes and his staff will meet at the same time in the morning.
View photos from Indianapolis Colts vs. Detroit Lions Preseason Week 3 game at Ford Field on Friday, Aug. 27 in Detroit, MI.
Then the plan is for Holmes and Campbell to get together around 2 p.m. Saturday and get a good start on getting down to 53.
"Just us two and we'll arm wrestle," Campbell joked.
Kidding aside, Campbell said he expects that process with Holmes to be really smooth because they have a terrific working relationship and see the game and the roster pretty similarly.
Some of the more difficult conversations surrounding position groups are expected to be had for the last couple wide receiver spots, the backups at running back, inside linebacker depth, nickel cornerback and potentially safety depth.
"We're going to come out of this with the best 53 and the best practice squad we can get, so I think it's going to come down – I'm not sure you'll see much until Monday," Campbell said.
Backup quarterback Tim Boyle had his best performance of the preseason on Friday, completing 7-of-9 passes, including a 15-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Quintez Cephus on the second possession of the game, but it appears it's come at a cost.
Boyle was pulled from the game following that touchdown pass to Cephus after playing just two series. He left the sideline for a bit and when he returned he had the thumb on his right hand wrapped up.
"We may have to prepare for him to be out a little bit," Campbell said after the game when asked about Boyle.
The Lions were likely to keep all three of their quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, but if Boyle is going to be out any extended length of time, maybe the Lions opt to use IR.
Either way, it seems likely now that veteran David Blough will be Jared Goff's backup Week 1 vs. San Francisco.
- The reason why Tom Kennedy didn't play much Friday is because Campbell said he and his staff know what Kennedy can do and wanted to get more of a look at players like Breshad Perriman, who seem to be on the roster bubble at the position. Perriman had one catch and two drops.
- Campbell said he really liked the way safety turned running back Godwin Igwebuike played Friday with a job on the line. Igwebuike rushed for a hard-nosed, second-effort 1-yard touchdown on a fourth-down play, and averaged 30.0 yards per kickoff return.