Originally posted on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 8/22/13

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 08: Cornerback Rashean Mathis #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after making a tackle against the Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
With training camp and the preseason now underway for the Detroit Lions, we’re putting some positional battles under the microscope with a series of Toss-ups… Training Camp Toss-up, No. 6: Does the late camp addition of Rashean Mathis mean anything for Detroit’s secondary? Do you beleive the staff will give Mathis a chance to start opposite Chris Houston instead of Darius Slay, or is he merely a veteran fill-in? Andrew Tomlinson: Slay was drafted, which to me is the only real reason why he would start over Mathis on the outside. It seems clear Mathis is a backup plan in case Slay does not work throughout the year and to push Bill Bentley for the nickel spot. I honestly believe the Lions are expecting their draft picks to contribute, but with how bad this defense has been during the preseason, major changes would not surprise me. Chris Burke: Slay’s going to get his playing time, at least as a rotational corner or with someone sliding to the nickel slot so he can play out wide on passing downs. I think Mathis’ arrival says much more about the cornerbacks behind Chris Houston and Slay than it does about those top two guys. It’s not a coincidence that Mathis’ signing came in the midst of a preseason in which Bill Bentley has been flat-out horrible and Jonte Green/Chris Greenwood have struggled to get on the field. The Lions’ 2012 CB draft plan has bombed thus far, so Mathis ought to get every opportunity to crack the lineup. Max DeMara: Like Chris, I think the addition of Mathis speaks more about the Lions’ lack of quality depth and experience behind the big two. Detroit can have both Mathis and Slay coexist in the backfield, but the heat needs to be turned up significantly on Bill Bentley, who’s looked lost on the field during the preseason. The Lions can’t count on either Greenwood or Green to be completely healthy by the time the season begins and others haven’t distinguished themselves, so with youth all over the place, the team needed meaningful experience, which Mathis brings. There’s no reason he can’t see plenty of playing time. and his veteran know-how should help a young secondary find its way.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Adrien Broner uses Bruce Jenner zinger after win

ESPN explains reason for Dabo Swinney interview error

Brian Kelly: Kizer made right call on 2-point play

Jim Mora calls UCLA's upcoming schedule 'a complete injustice'

Tommy Tuberville returned to Auburn, lined up at Tiger Walk

WATCH: Arizona State pushes pile 20 yards on TD run


Jim McElwain still won't name Will Grier Florida's starter

Steve Smith has microfractures in back, out for Week 5

Cowboys want Brandon Weeden to attempt longer passes

Nebraska captain tells crowd 'I'm sorry we suck'

Report: Dolphins could fire some coaches if team loses to Jets

Georgia fans get #FireRicht trending on Twitter

Cormier tops Gustafsson at UFC 192

Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller back at QB

WATCH: Clemson, Swinney have locker room dance party

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

WATCH: Dabo Swinney interview awkwardly cut off

Ohio St. LB Darron Lee has message for fans after close win

WATCH: Swedish league player unties opponent's skates

Max Scherzer throws second no-hitter of the season

Ezekiel Elliott jokes he owes his OL a steak dinner

Mike Riley explains questionable pass play on third down

Torey Lovullo would be 'honored' by managerial offers

WATCH: Ohio State stops Indiana on 4th down to win game

McIlroy: Spieth, Day have made me hungry again

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Most underrated games in NFL Week 4

What to watch in CFB Week 5

Starter strategies for final, tie-breaker and wild card games

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker