The Detroit Lions (5-9) are hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) in Week 16 and despite it being a shortened week, it was filled with drama.
If you missed any of the action leading up to this week’s game, we have covered, with links to all the relevant articles, sectioned off for convenience. Additionally, we’ve included everything you need to know for how to watch or listen to this week’s game.
This week’s timeline of events
The week began with a Monday firing of special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs. Interim coach Darrell Bevell explained that Coombs called a fourth-quarter fake punt without authorization and necessary action was required. The night ended on a positive note with three Lions being named to the Pro Bowl: T.J. Hockenson, Frank Ragnow, and Jack Fox.
On Tuesday, the Lions reported two positive results for COVID-19 and needed to shut down their Allen Park Traning facility.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Lions had no new positive results and the building would reopen, with the exception of those who tested positive and those deemed close contacts exposures — which included Bevell and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin.
On Thursday, the Lions announced that not only were Bevell and Undlin not going to be cleared in time for the game, but that defensive coaches Bo Davis (DL coach), Ty McKenzie (LB coach), and Steve Gregory (DB’s coach) would also have to miss this game.
Needing to replace five coaches for this game, the Lions named wide receivers coach Robert Prince the temporary interim coach (replacing interim coach Bevell), Sean Ryan (QB coach) would now call the offensive plays, Evan Rothstein (head coach assistant/research & analysis) would call the defensive plays, while Ty Warren (WCF Minority Coaching Assistant) would oversee the defensive line, David Corrao (Director of football research) would focus on the linebackers, and Tony Carter (defensive assistant) would cover the secondary.
Because this game was flexed to Saturday, most of the exposed Lions coaches were one day short of clearing the COVID-19 requirements, but when the Lions petitioned the NFL to push this game back to Sunday so the coaches would be available, the league denied their request.
Maybe the league felt the Lions brought it on themselves and would not be given preferential treatment, but they have been making exceptions like this all season. Maybe the Lions being eliminated from the playoffs played a factor, but that’s hardly in the spirit of having an equal playing field for all teams — there are other teams who will be impacted in the standings by the result of this game.
At the end of the day, this game will be played on Saturday, in the national spotlight, exclusively on the league’s network — which is really the end result the league wanted.
How To Watch
When: Saturday, December 26th, at 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Referee: Scott Novak
TV: NFL Network, NBC locally in Detroit
How to listen
Detroit area radio: WJR 760 AM radio
SIRIUS: 83 (Lions), 81 (Bucs), 88 (National feed)
XM: 225 (Lions), 226 (Bucs)
Lions Wire game prep podcasts
GM interview list
The Lions have completed interviews with:
Plan to interview:
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