Punter competition: Lions head coach Matt Patricia talked recently about having to ramp up the competition in practice at punter at some point because they won't have the preseason to evaluate that position battle in a live and competitive environment. So at the end of Sunday's practice, the team ended practice with a Jack Fox vs. Arryn Siposs punting battle.
The rest of the team had to choose a punter they thought would win and go to his side. It was an evaluation of hang time, distance and accuracy punting to goal line. The team was split right about 50-50 for each punter. Siposs won the competition, to the delight of those who chose his side, and the players that went with Fox had to do a lap around the field.
Pick-6: During a 7-on-7 red zone period, veteran linebacker Reggie Ragland picked off quarterback Matthew Stafford near the goal line and returned it the whole length of the field for a touchdown. There were two things I liked about the play besides the terrific one-handed catch by Ragland: 1. About half the defenders followed Ragland down the field, and they had a massive celebration piling on him the in the end zone. 2. Stafford ran his butt off trying to tackle Ragland, and if it was a real game and Stafford wasn't wearing the red jersey, he might have got him. Great effort all the way around.
"(Stafford) told me in the locker room he would have caught me, but he wouldn't have caught me," Ragland told reporters after practice. "With some fresh legs on game day, I'm gone."
Practice report: The Lions were pretty light at running back Sunday with D’Andre Swift, Bo Scarbrough and Jason Huntley all sitting out practice. That gave Ty Johnson a lot of good reps. Cornerback Desmond Trufant didn't do any team drills for a third straight practice. It looked like a rest day for wide receiver Kenny Golladay. He didn't do much in team drills. The players are off Monday and will get back at it Tuesday in Allen Park.
Prater time: The Lions ran a few two-minute situations Sunday. The first had the offense getting the ball at their 37-yard line with 1:33 on the clock and no timeouts. Stafford led the first-team offense to the defense's 31-yard line to set up a Matt Prater field goal that was good from 48 yards. The coaches made Prater kick it twice. He hit the second one too.
In the same situation, the second-team offense and David Blough led them to the defense's 38-yard line, where Prater kicked a 55 yarder that would have been good from 65. A later two-minute period was capped off by two Prater 49-yard field goals. Prater was in midseason form Sunday.
Catch of the day: That goes to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who had a terrific back-shoulder one-handed grab down the right sideline in a one-on-one rep against rookie corner Jeff Okudah, who was all over Jones. That's life in the NFL for a corner against these talented receivers.
Competitive periods: Offense vs. defense periods between position groups typically end with a competitive rep with pushups on the line for the losing side. Tight end T.J. Hockenson won a red-zone rep for the tight ends and running backs vs. the defensive backs with a touchdown grab from Blough in the back of the end zone. Cornerback Tony McRae returned the favor for the defensive backs against the receivers a little later.