The Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars are set to meet on Friday night in Week 3 of the 2015 preseason at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. The starters for both teams should see a lot of time on the field, as they get their most playing time in any game before the start of the regular season.
Matthew Stafford and most of Detroit’s starters should play at least the first two quarters, as they prepare to take on the San Diego Chargers in their season opener. Jacksonville will play their final home game until Week 1 of the regular season when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 13.
Calvin Johnson likely won’t play so he stays healthy, but a few of Detroit’s starting defenders will sit because they’re hurt. Haloti Ngata was on the practice field this week, but it’s unknown if the Lions’ biggest offseason acquisition will be ready for the regular season opener. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy is out for the foreseeable future with an injury. DeAndre Levy, whose hit sent Robert Griffin III out of last week’s game, has missed the last two practices.
Jacksonville will also have to wait until the regular season to see their top offseason addition take the field. Tight end Julius Thomas is set to miss the entire preseason with a fracture in his left hand. But the team will see a few players return to the field, as defensive end Chris Clemons, running back T.J. Yeldon and safety James Sample are expected to play in their first exhibition game in 2015.
Players to Watch
Phillip Hunt hasn’t played a regular season NFL game in three years, but he’s making the case to be on Detroit’s final 53-man roster. The defensive end has been impressive in training camp, and he recorded two tackles and a knockdown of Griffin last week. It looks like he is competing with defensive end Larry Webster, who the Lions drafted in the fourth round last year, for one of the last spots on the roster.
Tandon Doss was the NFL’s top punt returner just two years ago, but rookie Rashad Greene has outperformed him this preseason and could land the job. That would hurt Doss’ chances of making the team, but the wide receiver still has a chance to contribute to Jacksonville this year. The team is banged up at receiver, so a big game from him on Friday would give him a shot to stick around.
Where to Watch
The contest is set to start at 8 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast nationally on CBS.