ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Hear them roar. They have uttered their second roar, yet, but the Detroit Lions are roaring.
It took the last play of their most recent game but the Lions will not go winless in 2021. They are now 1-10-1 after quarterback Jared Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass with 0:00 showing on the clock to give Detroit a 29-27 win Sunday against the Vikings.
And now the Lions travel to Denver to play the 6-6 Broncos this Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High.
After not holding back their joy of first victory, is there concern the Lions can bring the necessary emotion and energy for their next game?
"There’s always a concern there," Lions’ first-year head coach Dan Campbell said in a conference call Wednesday with the Denver media. "You want to make sure they’re mentally and emotionally ready to go back to work. Just because you won one doesn’t mean you’re going to win another one. You have to put in the same amount of work and focus and attention to detail that you did with the last one."
Campbell had been a tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints in the same two seasons Broncos’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was there as Drew Brees’ backup.
"I think he’s a stud," Campbell said. "I think he’s a winner. Here’s what stands out about Teddy for me … When he was backing up Drew, he would pull our young guys, our young receivers, young skilled tight ends, backs, the day before the game take them out on the turf and go through the whole game plan with them, running reps. Preparing himself but also he was helping them develop. He developed a lot of the young guys that are with New Orleans right now like (Marquez) Callaway and those guys, LJ (Lil’Jordan Humphrey) and those guys."
Campbell is not the most conventional head coach in NFL history but Bridgewater wasn’t surprised he became one.
"No, I wasn’t surprised at all," Bridgewater said. "Dan, man, he’s awesome. His energy is contagious. I’m pretty sure those players in Detroit love playing for him. I was with him for two years in New Orleans and the things he was able to do with those tight ends, and then whenever he would stand in front of the team and talk, you were ready to storm out of that meetings and punch a guy in the face for no reason (laughs)."
Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (shoulder) and defensive lineman Shelby Harris (ankle) sat out practice Wednesday, but running back Melvin Gordon III (hip) returned on a limited basis.
On Chubb, Fangio said: “He got dinged in the shoulder the other night which hurt his play a little bit. He’s fighting through it, and I see improvements being made.” …
Slot cornerback Bryce Callahan has been designated to return from injured reserve and started practicing Wednesday. He can practice for 21 days before he is activated on the 53-man roster but the plan is to bring him back sooner. Callahan suffered a knee injury October 31 against Washington and has missed the past four games. It would be a surprise if he plays this Sunday against the Lions, but he may be ready for the following week against the Bengals. ...
Former Broncos’ receiver Trinity Benson was a two-year practice squad player until he became the surprise of Denver’s training camp and preseason in August until season-opening rosters were getting set, at which point he was traded to Detroit, along with a 2023 draft pick in the sixth round, in exchange for a fifth and seventh-round selections in the 2022 draft.
The speedster Benson only has 8 catches for 72 yards in seven games for the Lions but he’s been inactive the previous three games.
"We like Trinity, he’s very promising," Campbell said. "We love his talent and he was doing pretty good. We were getting excited and then he had an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago that sidelined him. It was actually in practice and so trying to get him back from that. But we like where he’s going. We like him a lot, man, he’s pretty gifted."
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