The Detroit Lions headed to Houston this week for two days of joint practices with the Texans ahead of the teams' Preseason Week 2 matchup.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was back to running the offense after taking a couple of predetermined rest days prior to the trip.
“It was good,” Stafford said of the rest. “It was good to see things from afar. Coach Patricia and I talked about it awhile back. As always, it’s hard for me to take a little bit of a back seat. It was good for me.
“It’s not easy for me, but it’s probably good for me in the long run. It’s something the coaches and Coach Patricia and I talked about. It gave me a little more perspective – let me coach the guys on the sideline.
“It’s not easy as a competitor to sit out, but it’s probably the smart thing to do.”
Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. did not make the trip and wide receiver Danny Amendola did not participate in team drills, so Stafford got some work in with some of the guys competing for the final receiver spot(s) on the roster.
“There’s a lot of guys vying for that position at the moment,” Stafford said. “Got some work with TK (Tom Kennedy) today, he was running with the one’s. Lacy was running with the one’s. So, I’m sure we’ll kind of be filtering guys in and out just trying to get experience with them and watch them perform.
"That’s what it’s all about, making sure they’re doing the little things right and then when they get their chances, go ahead and make the plays.”
Catch up on all of the action from the two days of joint practices with the Texans:
The trip to Texas was a homecoming for a few players on the Lions roster. Cornerback Quandre Diggs made the most of it by catching up with family, including newborn daughter Ariya, and going back to his high school with his teammates to give away backpacks to the students.
“As soon as we landed, I was excited – super excited,” Diggs said. “I don’t really show too much emotion. At the end of the day, it’s great to be home.
“It’s dope, man. I’ve been around here my whole life – born and raised in Texas. It’s good to come home. I get to see some of my family. I get to do some things with the community while I’m here.”
Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Kevin Strong was also feeling the love and support from his family this week, as they drove from Cleveland, Texas to come see him practice. Strong's father, Kevin Sr., has been diagnosed with lung cancer. His positive attitude throughout his battle has served as inspiration for his son.
“As long as he keeps pushing, I’m going to keep pushing,” Strong said. “I’m going to keep pushing all day and I know he will too. It’s battle for battle. We are just going to keep on going and get through the process.
“Seeing him push through one of the hardest things you can go through in life. He’s fighting with his health today. All I got to do is get up and come play football and keep him excited. I just try to keep everyone happy and be an inspiration the best I can.”
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- Go behind the scenes of Lions training camp with Episode 3 of Inside the Den.
- Roster updates: Defensive end Trey Flowers was activated from PUP last Saturday, and defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. was activated from NFI Thursday.
- View photos from the Lions' visit to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.