The Detroit Lions have called an audible in anticipation of an impending winter storm.
With snow on the horizon, Lions head coach Dan Campbell and company will travel to their Week 16 game at the Carolina Panthers a day early. Originally supposed to fly Friday, the team will fly to Carolina on Thursday.
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Once the team has arrived, it will conduct its normal pregame activities Friday, ahead of its Saturday game.
“It was just, make sure we got out. We’re really getting the bulk of our work done this morning anyway,” Campbell said Thursday. “It was just a matter, making sure we beat the storm out and then we’ll wake up, have our walkthrough in Carolina, have our last little bit of meetings. It will fall fine. It won’t affect us, (so) we’ll be fine.”
Ifeatu Melifonwu will have a role on defense Saturday
With safety DeShon Elliott’s status in doubt due to a shoulder injury, the Lions are looking to C.J. Moore and Ifeatu Melifonwu to fill the void.
Detroit was forced to lean on rookie Kerby Joseph when Tracy Walker III suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3. Now, the team could be down both season-opening starters. This means players like Melifonwu and Moore will have to step up.
Campbell spoke with reporters Thursday about the impact Melifonwu could have in Saturday’s game.
“Iffy obviously has a lot of talent. He’s got versatility, started at corner and moved him to safety. We like his ability, he’s got some range to him, he’s not afraid to get down there and tackle,” Campbell expressed. “Some of the experience would be the big thing, but we just feel like he’s another one of our young guys if we just let him go, because he’s aware and he needs the battle reps. So, he’s gonna get some plays now, he’s gonna get to play a little bit, as will C.J. and of course Kerby will be over there on the other side. This is, let’s go, he’s been taking enough reps now. He’s been back for a while, it’s about three or four weeks where he’s been with us. He’s been practicing and putting some days together. So, let it go, man.”
Melifonwu was injured to start the year, missing the first three games before debuting in Week 4 against Seattle. He has played just six snaps on defense, per SportsReference, while devoting a majority of his time to special teams.
Center Frank Ragnow missed practice Wednesday with a foot injury, but Campbell said the Pro Bowler will be ready to go for Saturday’s game.