Taylor Decker Out 4-6 Months

The shoulder injury that Lions left tackle Taylor Decker incurred during organized team activities seems worse than initially feared. The 22-year-old suffered a torn labrum and will sit out four to six months, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Conor Orr of NFL.com). Decker now looks like a candidate to begin 2017 on the physically unable to perform list, which would cost the second-year man at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

Taylor Decker

Decker was the sturdiest member of Detroit’s O-line during his rookie season, starting each of the Lions’ games and joining quarterback Matthew Stafford as their only offensive players to line up for all 1,037 of the unit’s snaps. The first-round pick out of Ohio State was quite effective during that action, as Pro Football Focus assigned his performance the 23rd-highest grade out of 78 qualified tackles.

Not having Decker for the foreseeable future could force the Lions to shift right tackle Ricky Wagner to the left side and/or scour free agency for another viable option. The club did sign Tony Hills on Thursday, but the 32-year-old has just one start on his resume. Before adding Hills, Detroit visited with Cyrus Kouandjio, one of the top bookends on the market, though there’s no word on whether it’s interested in signing him. Other experienced free agents include Ryan Clady, King Dunlap, Austin Pasztor and Will Beatty. On the other hand, if the Lions stay in house to find their starter opposite Wagner, their choices are Hills, Cornelius Lucas and Joe Dahl. Those three have just seven starts among them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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