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Detroit Lions lose RG Halaporiverty Baitai to back injury before season opener

Detroit Lions lose RG Halaporiverty Baitai to back injury before season opener

of detroit lions For the second year in a row, the team has lost its starting offensive lineman to injury before the start of the season.

Lions deploy right guard Halapourivati ​​Vaitai That means he will miss at least the first four games of the regular season. The Lions start the season on Sunday with Baitai’s old team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vaitay, like the rest of the team’s starting offensive line, played 29 snaps in the Lions’ preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a back injury kept him out of the team’s only open practice last week. Couldn’t attend.

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Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penay Sewell, 58, hits offensive tackle Harapour Liberty Vaitay during a warm-up before a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. Speak with (72).
 

He missed six games in 2020 with a foot injury and one game last season due to brain damage and COVID-19.

The Lions have high hopes for their line this fall after injuries derailed their unit in 2021.Left tackle Taylor Decker I broke my finger during practice before the season opener last year. Missing the first eight games of the season, Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow missed most of the season with a foot injury.

The Lions’ projected starting line never played together in 2021.

In Vaitay’s absence, the Lions will look to either Tommy Kramer or Logan Stenberg. Kramer started three games last season as an undrafted rookie and spent most of his time at right guard in the second-team offensive line. Stenberg, who played primarily at left guard this summer, missed most of last season with a knee injury.

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The Lions also awarded Drew Forbes at waivers from the Cleveland Browns on Monday. A sixth-round pick by the Browns in 2019, Forbes has appeared in three games of his career. He spent parts of the 2019 and 2021 seasons on the disabled list with a knee injury and opted out of 2020 due to COVID.

Lions offensive line coach Hank Fraley has embraced expectations that his unit will be one of the best in the NFL this season and has highlighted line depth as one reason for the slowdown last month. did.

Kramer, backup center Evan Brown, and line 6 Matt Nelson all got more playing time due to injuries last year.

“There are a lot of just pros in that group,” Fraley said. The team hasn’t changed much in the O-line room, but they go out and do their jobs and get along well together. Plug and play is also similar to last year and fun to watch. ”

Contact Dave Birkett dvirkett@freepress.com follow him on twitter @davebirkett.

This article was originally published in the Detroit Free Press. Detroit Lions place Harapau Liberty Baitai on injured reserve

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