Detroit Lions’ Taylor Decker takes first-team reps; why next 24 hours are key

Taylor Decker took left tackle reps at practice Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month, and the Detroit Lions should know soon whether the veteran offensive lineman will play again this season.

Lions coach Dan Campbell indicated Wednesday the next 24 hours will be key to Decker’s return from the finger injury that has sidelined him since early September.

Decker worked alongside the rest of the Lions’ first-team offensive line during the open portion of practice Wednesday, with rookie Penei Sewell at right tackle. If Decker cannot play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Lions will need to give Sewell reps at left tackle and Matt Nelson reps on the right side.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker (68) during organized team activities at Lions headquarters in Allen Park, Thursday, May 27, 2021.

Sewell practiced primarily at left tackle when Decker briefly returned to practice for two days last month.

“Look, he’s going to go today and he’s got to prove to us that he can’t,” Campbell said. “As far as we’re concerned, we’re going to go out, man, he’s going to go out there and practice and if he feels good then we’ll see what tomorrow looks like and we’ll just go from there.

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“But I think we also, I know he’s ready to go and I know he wants to get out there and he wants to test it and he wants to use it, but until we test it we’re not going to know. And it’s time to test it. And he’ll know. I think he’ll be able to tell pretty quickly how it feels.”

Decker injured his left index finger four days before the Lions’ season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers and reaggravated in on his second day back at practice Oct. 14.

On Wednesday, he practiced with what appeared to be a normal tape job on his left hand.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was complimentary of both Decker and Sewell…

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