After a dismal offseason, the Detroit Lions need to answer a lot of questions in training camp. When does it start, where will it be held, and are fans allowed to attend?
With phase 3 of the 2021 NFL offseason set to wrap up on June 18th, teams are already looking forward to training camp. It is by far the most grueling and pivotal part of a team’s preparations.
Training camps often include busy days for players and coaches, sometimes with 2 practices a day, weight training, team meetings, and film sessions.
Per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), no contact is permitted during the first 3 days of camp. Days 4 and 5 will see players at full speed in light equipment called “spiders and shells”, day 6 is a mandatory day off, and finally fully-padded practices start on the 7th day.
Along with the strenuous schedule, full-speed practices mean that both contact and non-contact injuries are very common. Regardless, training camp is mandatory for all players unlike OTAs which are voluntary. If a player doesn’t show up, they risk getting cut by their team.
When Does Training Camp Start for the Detroit Lions?
For the first time in NFL history, there will be a unified start for training camp. 29 franchises, including the Lions, will kickoff their training camps on Tuesday, July 27th.
The Cowboys and Steelers, who will play in the preseason Hall of Fame game, are allowed to begin training camp as early as July 21st. The Buccaneers will also be allowed to start training camp 3 days earlier on the 24th, as they play the season opener against Dallas on a Thursday night.
For the first time, the NFL will have a unified start to training camp, with 29 teams set to report Tuesday, July 27 — 47 days before the Sunday of Week 1, as allowed by the CBA — and plans for league-wide practices and fan events Saturday, July 31.
Midsummer Madness, anyone?
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
The #Cowboys and #Steelers can report as early as July 21 because of the hall of fame game. The #Bucs can report July 24 because of a Thursday opener. Players from the other 29 teams are required to report July 27, per the CBA.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
Where is the Lions Training Camp Being Held?
Normally, NFL teams are permitted to hold training camp at outside facilities to improve accessibility for fans, However last year, due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic, teams were instructed to conduct camp at their own training facilities.
With the situation looking a little more optimistic, the league has informed teams they can return to outside facilities, should they choose to do so.
The Lions won’t be making any changes to the venue of their training camp. For the last 15 years, Detroit has conducted their training camp at Allen Park, Michigan.
This venue marks the teams’ headquarters and primary training facility for practice throughout the season, running as their year long practice field.
Detroit Lions Training Camp Roster: Key Position Battles to Watch
As usual, teams will start camp with 90-man rosters. They must cut down to 85 players by August 17th and to 80 by August 24th, before settling on a final 53-man roster by August 31st.
The Lions have holes all throughout their roster, and they’ll need to address several of them before the season starts. The forecast for this year is not looking sunny for Detroit as the team traded away franchise star Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff.
Goff will most likely have the starting job on lockdown as there is no other competent enough quarterback on the roster to challenge him.
The biggest position of concern is the cornerback position. The Lions have no shortage of options, but who will step up to the plate and claim the cornerback 1 role?
Jeff Okudah is the youngster and he could see an ascent to superstardom like we saw with Darius Slay, but he has a long way to go after a disappointing rookie year after being selected with the third overall pick.
He did face a bevy of superstar receivers in his first year, but the hope is that he can breakout in his second year in the league.
CB Jeff Okudah’s PFF Grades in games w/Top-10 Graded WRs vs Rest of season:
Weeks 4, 6, 8, 10, 11 (No Top-10 WRs):
Weeks 2, 3, 7, 9 (Top-10 WRs):
— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) June 11, 2021
Otherwise, someone like Amani Oruwariye, who has been trending upward the past season, could take the job from. Quinton Dunbar isn’t a bad option either, but regardless, none of these guys rank outrageously above the others. It’ll be a tight race in training camp for sure.
Will Fans Be Allowed to Attend Lions Training Camp?
The NFL is planning to have fans at all training camps, with fan events scheduled to start on July 31st. The Lions are no exception, as they expect to have full crowd for majority of their training camp sessions.
Two of the teams’ practices will be restricted to Season Ticket Members only while the other nine practices are open for free to the public. There won’t be any joint practices, however.