The Detroit Lions are set to double the intensity of their training camp in 2023 by hosting joint practice sessions with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants. Lions’ Head Coach Dan Campbell previously signaled the team’s plan to share the training field with the Giants, and recently, the Lions confirmed Jacksonville as the other participating team.
Lions and Jaguars: A Preseason Showdown in the Works
The news comes as Doug Pederson, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ coach, revealed the team’s intention to make an early appearance at Allen Park. Speaking after the recent schedule release, Pederson confirmed, “(Preseason) Week 2. We’ll go up there.” A source from the Lions later confirmed that these joint practices are indeed in the pipeline.
Rising Giants Clash in Preseason
The upcoming practices will feature two of the NFL’s most improved teams from the previous season. The Lions and Jaguars both displayed exceptional form towards the latter part of last season, with Detroit securing victories in eight of their final ten games, while Jacksonville clinched seven wins in their last nine outings, making it to the playoffs and even securing a postseason victory.
A Look Back at Lions’ Joint Practice History
This preseason represents the first time the Lions have held joint practice sessions for two consecutive weeks since 2019. In the past, they have faced off against teams like the Patriots and Texans. Interestingly, Campbell chose not to engage in joint practices during his first season with the Lions in 2021.
Joint Practices: An Instrument for Injury Prevention
The joint practice sessions have also garnered support from the league’s top executives. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, recently recommended that joint practices occur before the second or third week of the preseason.
Echoing Vincent’s sentiments, Jeff Miller, the league’s executive vice president of communications and health and safety initiatives, mentioned:
Fewer starters year over year are participating in preseason games and we’ve seen that there’s a benefit at the beginning of the regular season from an injury perspective to players who reach game intensities at some point in the preseason, and joint practices have proven to be a really useful tool for that.
Lions and Giants: Reuniting Old Friends
The Lions are also preparing to host joint practices with the New York Giants. Lions’ Head Coach Dan Campbell and Giants’ Coach Brian Daboll, having spent the 2011 season together with the Miami Dolphins, share a friendship that goes beyond the field.
Campbell had high praise for Daboll, saying:
He’s the best. Very, very bright. I thought what he did with that team knowing where they were at from a talent level, they shorten those games, they play pretty good defense… I think they got a winner over there in him.
Interestingly, this won’t be the first time the Lions and the Giants will share a practice field. They previously engaged in joint practices in 2018 under the leadership of Matt Patricia, the then head coach of the Lions.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
Tweet: @WoodwoodSports or comment on your favorite social media platform!
Photo Credit: © USA TODAY