Lions notes: Penei Sewell prepares for move back to RT; Bears QB a game-time decision

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Penei Sewell's trial run at left tackle is almost over, and as well the Detroit Lions rookie has played, he said he expects to be at a new position when Taylor Decker returns, perhaps next week.

"I want him back," Sewell said after practice Friday. "Whatever that looks like, and I think that’ll be him being on the left and me back on the right. And it’ll just make our line so much more better. He’s already a big name in this league, he’s already established himself and I’ve got to do the same."

Sewell, the No. 7 pick in April's draft, has played well and said the right things since shifting to left tackle when Decker suffered a hand injury that required surgery four days before the Lions' season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell blocks Baltimore Ravens linebacker Odafe Oweh during the first half at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.
Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell blocks Baltimore Ravens linebacker Odafe Oweh during the first half at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.

He has allowed one sack, to Pro Bowl pass rusher Nick Bosa, in 212 offensive snaps and has been one of the Lions' best run blockers.

While Decker has been the Lions' primary left tackle since 2016 and is in Year 1 of a four-year contract extension, keeping Sewell at left tackle could be in the organization's best long-term interests.

Sewell, who turns 21 next week, has played better and appeared more comfortable at left tackle, the position he played exclusively in his two college seasons at Oregon. And the Lions (0-3) appear to be a year or two away from being competitive in their rebuild.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said this week he will figure out how best to configure the line when Decker returns.

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Sewell said he has been doing right tackle work on the side to prepare for a move back, and said Decker's presence is needed at left tackle.

"Just again, it’s a veteran group," he said. "With him coming in, it’ll just make our play or our standard really rise to his level. He brings a totally different dynamic to this O-line and it really just creates a whole different motivation for myself, cause he’s the standard and I’ve got to chase him and then go from there."

As for how he has played so far, Sewell, who will draw the primary pass-blocking assignment on Bears sack leader Robert Quinn this week, has been his own harshest critic.

“I don’t have like a specific way to put it into terms, but just not good enough," Sewell said. "I’ve got to come out each and every day, ready to win every rep. And there’s a couple occasions where my technique in pass and run got out of hand, so I just got to lock into the little things and get right on those."

Bears QB TBD

Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters Friday that his starting quarterback for Sunday is a game-time decision.

Andy Dalton, the Bears starter the first two weeks, is questionable with a knee injury. Campbell said he expects either Dalton or fellow veteran Nick Foles to start, and for rookie first-round pick Justin Fields to play.

Andy Dalton will start at quarterback for the Bears, but Justin Fields (1) could play a role again the red zone.
Andy Dalton will start at quarterback for the Bears, but Justin Fields (1) could play a role again the red zone.

Fields was 6 of 20 passing for 68 yards and was sacked nine times in a loss to the Cleveland Browns last week.

"I have zero confidence knowing who they’re going to start," Campbell said Friday. "There again, we’re prepared for whoever they want to roll out."

Outside linebacker Trey Flowers is expected to miss his second straight game with knee and shoulder injuries for the Lions, while Michael Brockers (shoulder), Romeo Okwara (shoulder) and D'Andre Swift (groin) are on track to play after practicing for a third straight day.

Wet and wild

With scattered thunderstorms in the forecast Sunday, Campbell said the Lions spent Thursday's practice working with wet football.

"(You take) those five-gallon buckets full of water and you just drown them and then when it’s time to (snap the ball), you pull them out and they’re just dripping water and there you go," Campbell said. "So yeah, that’s the best way to do it."

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Lions' Penei Sewell expects to play RT when Taylor Decker returns