Detroit was unable to secure airline service to cincinnati due to power outages at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and so will take buses to Cincinnati's Paul Brown stadium to take on the Bengals in a 7:30 pm contest.
Just prior to the end of the two week training camp session, Detroit unexpectedly cancelled its afternoon practices and wrapped up camp early. The team closed its afternoon session to the media just hours before the largest power outage in United States history struck.
The team announced at that time that it would decide how to get to Cincinnati for Saturday's contest based on airline availability but early this afternoon boarded buses bound for Ohio.
Prior to wrapping camp, head coach Steve Mariucci addressed the status of several injured players including first round draft choice Charles Rogers.
"He's getting ready to go. He's getting mentally ready to go. He's realizing that he can play the game with that splint on his hand so it's going to be fun to let him play a little bit. I expect him to play Saturday. We've got to figure out when we're going to put him in and with whom – what quarterback. I would like to play him a little bit this week."
Mariucci also stated that veteran guard Ray Brown and linebacker Barrett Green will play tomorrow. Running back Shawn Bryson, who has seen very little action since being acquired as a free agent from Buffalo also will likely see action.
Mariucci also hoped that he could get his team used to some crowd noise and game like atmosphere this weekend.
"I hope it's a sellout crowd over there (Cincinnati) and loud and crazy if you can get that in the preseason anywhere besides Oakland. I hope it's a difficult place to play. We need to play on the road. We need to learn how to travel. We need to learn how to handle crowd noise, being in a foreign locker room, meetings on the road – it's all something we haven't had yet."
Detroit also hopes several players separate themselves from the pack to break the logjam of players at positions like running back and tight end, Mariucci said those positions are still up for grabs.
"There is some real interesting competition. Let's just talk tight ends first. Mikhael Ricks is practicing now, nobody asked about him, but I don't know if he's going to play in this game. We have to decide. We may keep him out one more week. It would be nice to have him back healthy.
After that, John Owens is probably not going to play. He's got a cast on his hand, what are you going to do with that? I don't know if he's going to play either. Of course, Murph (Matt Murphy) is doing a good job. Casey Fitzsimmons is giving us a good push and Mitch (Tywan Mitchell) too, so we've got five tight ends, and then you've got (Bradford) Banta who is an emergency guy, he's our snapper.
It's a good competition, it hasn't shaken out yet. We don't know what we're going to do there yet. We're going to go through this. We're not going speculate, we're going to let them play it out and let the cream come to the top. We'll see how it finishes.
Tailbacks, it's the same thing. It's going to be nice to see Shawn Bryson play football either this week or probably next week, we'll see. He gives us some added dimension, a little bit of experience, a lot of speed and he's been practicing well. After that we have (Avon) Cobourne, I don't know if he's going to play." So Lions fans have a bunch of reasons to be tuned in to Saturday afternoon's contest, that is, if the power is back on.