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TIM AND MIKE: Training camp Day 4 observations

Hard evaluation: It’s a little hard to get a good evaluation of Detroit’s defense early in camp, because so many players on that side who are expected to make an impact are sitting out right now. Defensive end Trey Flowers, linebacker Devon Kennard, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, defensive end Austin Bryant and linebacker Christian Jones are battling injury. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson has missed practice due to a personal reason. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. and cornerback Darius Slay remain on NFI.

Defensive tackle Mike Daniels was at practice Sunday, but working off to the side as he gets acclimated to practice and his new surroundings. The Lions were down to five defensive linemen by the end of Sunday’s practice. There’s a lot of firepower on defense not on the field right now. – Tim Twentyman

T.J./TD: It has become a daily occurrence to mention a good catch by rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson, and he made another one Sunday – and in front of an important fan. Hockenson made a sharp cut to Matthew Stafford’s pass in the right corner of the end zone. Positioned to view practice a few yards away was franchise owner Martha Firestone Ford. – Mike O’Hara

View photos from Day 4 of Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

Loving contact: Mark Thompson is trying to catch on in Detroit’s backfield. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound running back is able to stand out during padding practices. Thompson isn’t afraid of a little contact, and runs hard every rep. He ran over an unsuspecting defender Sunday, which fired up his offensive teammates. There always seems to be a loud crack of pads when he carries the rock in padded practices. – Tim Twentyman

Danger Zone: Media members watch practice from a grandstand in the south end zone of the field. That means they have to be aware when kickers are practicing field goals. There are always a few that land in the bleachers. Put up the protective nets? Or how about staying alert? – Mike O’Hara

Good start: Veteran left tackle Taylor Decker has had a really good start to camp. I have him undefeated the last two days in one-on-one pass-rush drills. He’s been solid in team and group work, and said Sunday he’s feeling great. He certainly looks it. – Tim Twentyman

When opportunity knocks: It’s imperative in camp that when an opportunity to make a play comes a player's way, they take advantage. Rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye put himself in terrific position to make an interception in a team period Sunday. He baited the quarterback, and had the ball thrown right to him, but dropped it. Those opportunities don’t come around that often. We’ll see if Oruwariye can take advantage of the next one. – Tim Twentyman

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