Let's look at the upcoming game by checking in on the Detroit Lions media for some story lines.
On the injury front, there was a stir when Reggie Bush missed practice, but he says he's ready to go.
Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush sat out practice today with a right leg injury, but Bush said his absence was "precautionary" and he’ll be fine for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. "Feel good," Bush said. "Just taking a day off, getting ready for the game on Sunday."
The Lions will be without tackle Corey Hilliard but the other tackle, Riley Reiff, should play after practicing this week.
One member of the Detroit media gives a breakdown of the Reggie Bush factor for the Lions.
Rothstein: Having Reggie Bush in the offense has allowed Stafford to throw the ball shorter more often and as an old coach I used to cover once said, "Short passes are happy passes." They are also more likely to be completed passes. Here's something to consider with Stafford as well. His numbers could be much better, but his receivers have dropped 6.9 percent of his passes. Hold on to even half those and he's completing around 65 percent of his passes this season. He also has gotten much better at throwing the ball away instead of forcing passes. That's been a big change. There is an accuracy component to it as well, but he isn't taking nearly as many downfield chances.
The Lions man in the middle, center Dominic Raiola, may be a little long in the tooth for the NFL, but he's having a great year.
Uncertain about his future, Raiola wanted to make sure he wasn't going down without a fight. He committed to getting bigger and stronger this offseason, adding nearly 20 pounds to his 6-foot-1 frame. Not only has the added weight helped the 34-year old turn back the clock, it's resulted in him performing at the highest level of his lengthy career.
"I think he's playing the best football maybe in the five years that I have been here," coach Jim Schwartz said. "He's been consistent from week to week. He's won his matchups."
Here's more on the Lions offensive line, including tackle Riley Reiff.
The Lions used to use a lot of two tight end sets, but they have been trending away from that this year and just recently released tight end Tony Scheffler.
The result has been a significant decrease in the use two tight end packages. Last year, Detroit had two tight ends on the field 524 of 1160 plays (45.2 percent). Through seven games this season, those formations have been employed just 32.1 percent of the time.
The shift has allowed the Lions to increase the use of other formations, including those with two running backs. "You have seen Joique (Bell) and Reggie (Bush) out there and that's picked up some of it," coach Jim Schwartz said. "We have also had some other three wide receiver sets. We're getting (Kevin) Ogletree mixed in. Even (Jeremy) Ross got some snaps on offense in some different packages. We're just going in a little different way."
Speaking of our old friend Kevin Ogletree, here's more on him in Detroit and his relationship with Dez.
He has been targeted seven times in his first three games with the Lions, catching five of those passes for 75 yards. Through his first three games, though, Ogletree’s snaps have varied. He saw four in his first game against Green Bay, although that wasn’t surprising considering he was signed days earlier. He had 28 against Cleveland and then 10 against Cincinnati once Johnson returned to full health. Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said Thursday that he could see Ogletree getting more snaps in the future. Where, though, could be the question. As Kris Durham emerges as the third wide receiver alongside Johnson and either Ryan Broyles or Nate Burleson, when he returns, in the slot, it could turn into an interesting situation with Ogletree and Durham.
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