The Lions’ swing tackle for the past three seasons, Matt Nelson will be sidelined for an extended period due to the ankle injury he suffered in Week 3. This will further deplete a Lions tackle group that required the full depth chart to close out Sunday’s win.
Starting for the injured Taylor Decker, Nelson exited the field on a cart. Dan Campbell said Monday he will be placed on IR and will need surgery. The Lions sustained multiple injuries at tackle Sunday, the team’s second game without Decker available this season.
With the longtime left tackle out, the Lions moved Penei Sewell to the blind side. Nelson started at right tackle but lasted just 18 plays. The Lions moved practice squad elevation Dan Skipper into Nelson’s place, but the recently reacquired blocker also went down. The team finished the game with fifth-round pick Colby Sorsdal playing opposite Sewell.
Nelson, 28, is in his fourth Lions season. He is due for unrestricted free agency in March, and a potential season-ending surgery will obviously hurt his chances of scoring a notable payday. A former UDFA out of Iowa, Nelson stepped in for an injured Decker in 2021; Decker went down with a season-ending hand injury that year. When Decker returned in 2022, he and Sewell stayed healthy to keep Nelson on the sideline after his 11-start ’21 slate. The Lions re-signed Nelson to a one-year, $1.3MM deal in March.
The Lions brought Skipper up to their active roster using a gameday elevation transaction; they can do so again ahead of Thursday’s Packers matchup. A William & Mary alum, Sorsdal arrived as this year’s No. 152 overall pick.
Decker logged an estimated limited practice — a designation used due to the Lions having a Thursday matchup in Week 4 — on Monday. The eighth-year blocker suffered an ankle injury during Detroit’s opener. The Lions also played Sunday’s game without right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who is potentially facing a multiweek absence. A Thursday assignment increases the chances the veteran guard is down for Week 4; Graham Glasgow started in place of Vaitai against the Falcons.