The Detroit Lions wrapped up the preseason Thursday night with a 35-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Most of the starters sat out for both teams, giving the players fighting for roster spots or playing time an opportunity to make a final impression.
"I would say the one thing about these guys, I thought, overall, I think they went out and they played really hard and they tried to finish," head coach Matt Patricia said after the game. "So, that’s one thing about this group, all the way through camp as we’re trying to learn and evaluate these guys, I would say the one thing about them is they are—they’re a tough group that will go out and compete until the very end.
"And that’s what we tried to do. We tried to put them in a situation just to let them keep competing from that standpoint.”
The Lions have until 4 p.m. Saturday to get their roster down to an initial 53.
HAROLD MAKES LIONS DEBUT
The Lions traded for linebacker Eli Harold ahead of last week's road trip to Tampa, but he did not take part in that contest.
Harold practiced all week with the team, working to fit in wherever the Lions need him.
“It’s really looking at the basic fundamentals of it,” Patricia said of Harold. “This is a guy who’s got great leverage. He’s really long, does a good job with his punch and strike, and you can really see him kind of use that leverage to his ability, especially out on the edge.
Harold made his Lions debut Thursday night, starting against the Browns at Ford Field. He recorded a tackle, stuffing the runner for a loss.
"He played hard, he made a couple plays in there which is good on his athleticism, which is some of the stuff that we saw on tape that we liked," Patricia said after the game. "You know, with his length and his ability to run, and chase, and be athletic, and be able to be productive without really having great knowledge of what we do yet, so that was a positive from that standpoint."
TURNING THE PAGE
With the preseason in the books, it's time to turn the page to the regular season. The Lions open their season at home against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football Sept. 10.
It should be our first real look at what to expect from the Lions' defense this season.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a dynamic scheme,” defensive end Ziggy Ansah said after practice earlier this week. “We’re going to do any and everything, so just wait until the season and you’ll find out. I’m excited about it.”
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- Go behind the scenes of Lions preseason with Episode 4 of Inside the Den.
- The Lions are set to add three Legends to the Pride of the Lions during the halftime ceremony of the Homecoming game against the Seattle Seahawks October 28.
- Read why defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois really looks forward to his weekly meetings with Matt Patricia.