Lions’ T.J. Lang ready to leave last season’s injuries behind


Allen Park — Detroit Lions guard T.J. Lang spent half of last season on the injury report, but unlike the previous two years, none of those issues lingered into the offseason or required surgery.

I can’t make any predictions here, but this is the first time I’ve done an offseason workout in three years, so I’m definitely excited about that, Lang said during a Thursday press conference.

As Lang noted, the Lions’ line struggled with durability and production. Because of injuries, the team started 10 different combinations last year. And while not entirely the fault of the blocking, the ground game and pass protection both struggled. The Lions finished last in the NFL in rushing and quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked 47 times, a career-high.

That faith proved misplaced as the team finished last in the league in rushing, both yards per game and yards per carry. Ameer Abdullah struggled in his first full season as the lead back, averaging a career-low 3.3 yards, ultimately leading to a decreased role down the stretch.

Shortly after the conclusion of the season, Quinn vowed to add competition at the position. He did so in free agency, picking up 250-pound LeGarrette Blount. The accomplished veteran brings a short-yardage element the Lions have lacked in recent years, but at 31 years old, probably isn’t going to be a guy taking 20 handoffs per week.

Given some of the other issues in the ground game, namely the blocking, and upcoming adjustments to the scheme, it’s not inconceivable the Lions attempt to make it work with the tailback collective they currently have under contract. But with such a deep, talented prospect pool, and little long-term security at the position beyond this season (Abdullah and Blount’s contracts expire at the end of this upcoming season), it wouldn’t be the best approach.

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