Rod Wood talks Lions 2018 schedule

ORLANDO – In the past, Detroit Lions team president Rod Wood has made certain requests to the NFL's schedule makers as it pertains to the Lions' 16-game regular-season schedule.

He helped land the team a Week 17 home game in 2016 after he reminded the league the team had finished on the road the prior four seasons. The Lions have hosted a Week 17 contest the last two seasons.

Wood also fought last offseason for more balance – home vs. away games – in the first quarter of the season after the Lions had started out on the road in three of their first four games the previous two seasons (2015 & 2016). The Lions had an even two-and-two home and away split last season.

The only request Wood made this year was about the team's two west coast games in San Francisco and Arizona.

"We have the two west coast game this year, so if it works out, we might stay out there if they're back to back," Wood told local beat writers during a break from his meeting schedule at the annual league meetings. "It's a possibility.

"We wouldn't probably do that if they were scheduled back to back too early in the year, because it's kind of too close to training camp. But if we could get those in the second half of the season and they were back to back we might stay out there and have kind of a midseason mini training camp.

"We asked if they were to be scheduled back to back that they try to do it in the second half of the year and if they're not going to be back to back I guess we don't really care, we'll just do two trips at that point."

Other than that, Wood said the NFL schedulers have treated the Lions pretty fairly over the last two years, and he didn't have any other requests.

Two other scheduling notes from Wood was that he confirmed the Lions would likely be on the road Week 1 because of a scheduling conflict at Ford Field with an Ed Sheeran concert. Wood joked that Sheeran's fall tour has an effect on a number of NFL stadiums and scheduling conflicts. 

"I think they (NFL) actually went to the tour and said, 'You can't do every Saturday night in the fall.'" Wood said with a laugh.

Wood also prefers to have a division opponent on Thanksgiving, instead of a team like the Patriots, which would have obvious storylines attached to it. Wood said he doesn't expect the league to send Minnesota to Ford Field for a third straight Thanksgiving Day contest.

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