Don’t expect the Lions starters to play in the preseason finale vs. the Panthers

When the Detroit Lions visit the Carolina Panthers in the preseason finale on Friday night, don’t expect to see Jared Goff, Aidan Hutchinson, Penei Sewell, C.J. Gardner-Johnson or any other Lions starter. Based on what Dan Campbell said, and how the Detroit head coach said it, every notable Lions player figures to sit out once again.

Campbell was asked about if he would play any of his starters in the exhibition wrap-up.

“Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’ll be a lot like – I’m still trying to think about that one a little bit,” Campbell responded. “And really, I want to see how today and tomorrow goes, but I think it’s going to look very much like the first two games.”

Those first two games, both at home, saw nearly every starter stick on the sidelines. A few key backups also haven’t yet played in the preseason, too.

Campbell stated this before his starting defense effectively smothered the starting offense in Tuesday’s practice. While the starting defense has looked pretty sharp in the joint practices against the Giants and Jaguars, the first-team offense has performed more variably. There are times when Jared Goff and his crew have lit up whatever defense is on the field, notably last Thursday against the Jaguars in the final joint practice between those two teams.

But there have been days like Tuesday where, in the absence of top WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, the unit looked uncomfortably like the 2021 Lions offense that ranked 25th in the league for the season and was in the bottom three in the first eight weeks that year.

Detroit has one practice remaining this week before traveling to Charlotte to face the Panthers in prime time on Friday night.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire