The Detroit Lions hit the road for a second straight week when they play the Raiders Saturday night in Oakland.
The Lions are 1-1 after beating Baltimore last week. They’re now 15-3 in the preseason over the last five years.
Here are five storylines to follow:
1. Running back Mikel Leshoure is expected to make his much-anticipated Lions debut. Leshoure’s last game was more than 600 days ago in his collegiate farewell. He missed last season because of a torn Achilles’ tendon and the first two preseason games this year because of a hamstring injury.
2. It’s the third of four preseason games, which typically best resembles something meaningful. Look for Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Co. to play about a half to try to get tuned up for the regular-season opener on Sept. 9. They’ll play very little next week in the preseason finale.
3. Many players will be feeling a sense of urgency, hoping to get another chance to show what they can do in a game. NFL teams must cut their rosters from 90 to 75 by Monday. The final cut to the 53-man rosters is next Friday, a day after the final preseason game.
4. Punters Ben Graham and Ryan Donahue are locked in a tight competition. Coach Jim Schwartz said both are “talented enough to play in the NFL.” Graham is averaging 41.3 yards on seven punts, with three placed inside the 20-yard line. Donahue has a 42-yard average on six punts with one inside the 20.
5. It’s that overlap time of the year between football and baseball, which makes for an interesting playing surface in stadiums that host both sports. One of those is the O.co Coliseum, home of the Raiders. The Lions will have to adjust and play through the infield dirt. “It changes the game because the dirt is more slippery,” Lions cornerback Chris Houston said.