By: Will Burchfield
The Lions are likely to be without T.J. Lang on Sunday for the second time this season.
Jim Caldwell announced on Thursday that Lang has been placed in the concussion protocol.
The news comes as a surprise after Lang played the entirety of Monday’s night game versus the Packers. According to Caldwell, Lang began feeling symptoms during Wednesday’s practice — he left early when he fell ill — and was diagnosed afterward with a concussion.
“Sometimes these things don’t manifest themselves between 24 and 72 hours, and this is one of those cases,” said Caldwell, adding later, “It’s not something that happened in practice.”
For Lang to play on Sunday versus the Browns, he’ll have to clear three hurdles in the concussion protocol: one non-contact practice, one contact practice and clearance from a non-team doctor. All of this has to happen by Saturday.
That seems like a long shot.
If Lang is indeed unable to go, it’s likely Emmett Cleary will start in his place. Cleary got the start in Week 6 versus the Saints when Lang was a late scratch with a back injury.
In the first year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract, Lang has been the Lions’ most consistent offensive lineman this season.
His concussion comes just as Detroit’s offensive line was getting back to full health. Left tackle Taylor Decker returned to practice last week and could make his season debut on Sunday.