Lions’ Colby Sorsdal proves moment not too big in first start

Detroit Lions offensive lineman Colby Sorsdal, left, and defensive end Levi Onwuzurike (91) work out during an NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich., Monday, July 24, 2023. 

Lions practice

Dan Campbell’s squad has embraced the “next man up” mentality all throughout the 2023 season. And, it’s played an integral role in the Lions going 6-2 to start the year.
One of the latest examples of it was rookie offensive lineman Colby Sorsdal lining up at right guard in Week 8 against Las Vegas.

The William & Mary product got the spot start in relief of veteran lineman Graham Glasgow, who suited up at center in the place of the injured Frank Ragnow.

It marked Sorsdal’s first career NFL start.

“It is big. I think that’s a big step for him. It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially at that position.

And so, I thought that he did an admirable job, stepped in there,” Campbell said of Sorsdal’s performance against the Raiders. “It was a better showing than when we had to use him in Atlanta, now that was out at right tackle.

I thought he went and represented himself well and banged away in there. What we learned is it’s not too big for him. He’s another guy, the more reps he gets, the better he’ll get.

“But, no, it’s a good sign. You don’t know how it’s gonna play out. Some guys, it’s too much, too early. Some guys, boy, they just, they love the opportunity and they thrive in it. I thought he stepped up, and it wasn’t too big.”

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Detroit Lions offensive lineman Colby Sorsdal talks with the media after an NFL football rookie minicamp practice in Allen Park, Mich., Saturday, May 13, 2023. Sorsdal played in each and every one of the Lions’ 86 offensive snaps vs. Las Vegas. And he, along with his offensive line counterparts, helped Detroit signal-caller Jared Goff stay upright throughout the entirety of the Monday Night Football tilt.

“It was awesome. I mean, to come away with a dub, with how we won, it was a great team win. It was great to be a part of,” Sorsdal said of his first career start.

“You can’t beat Monday Night Football as your first start. It’s just something special, something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Additionally, he helped pave the way for a season-best performance from the Lions’ backfield.

In the Week 8 contest, Detroit’s backs accumulated a season-high 222 yards. Rookie runner Jahmyr Gibbs, meanwhile, contributed 152 of those yards in a career-best showing.

“I think it’s great. I think it shows what we’re capable of as an offensive line. Eight deep,” Sorsdal said of the team’s success on the ground against Las Vegas.

“It’s really special, and it speaks great to the backs back there. They’re workhorses, so they’re getting the job done.”

The Lions have consistently been productive on the ground throughout the course of the season. In fact, Detroit has amassed the sixth-most rushing yards (1051) and the fourth-most rushing scores (11) through eight games.

Yet, Glasgow and right tackle Penei Sewell have been the only members of the team’s offensive line to appear in all eight games.

It speaks not only of the depth of the Lions’ offensive line, but also of the versatility of linemen like Glasgow.

“I think Graham has been a huge part of this offensive line. What he’s been able to do, playing left guard last week and then all of a sudden he’s playing center, it’s been unbelievable,” Sorsdal said of Glasgow’s ability to play multiple positions. “And so, that’s really difficult.

However, I think that’s necessary for all offensive linemen. I think we take pride in knowing all five positions on that offensive line and coming out and executing whatever we have to do to win, right? So, yeah, it’s difficult, but anything worth doing in life is. So, it’s something we take pride in, and it’s something he’s excelled at this year.”


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