Woody has played center and guard in the NFL. He says it won't be a big deal to be a little farther from the quarterback, even though he will be playing at the Metrodome, one of the loudest stadiums in the league.
"To me, the biggest obstacle is the noise," Woody said. "But even when I was at guard, I couldn't hear in Minnesota. So I'll be at tackle and I can't hear."
The Lions have had problems at right tackle all season, and they came to a head recently.
In two games early this season, the Lions benched George Foster. They replaced him in the starting lineup with Jonathan Scott on Nov. 4 against Denver. But Scott suffered a broken thumb in that game and had surgery. Foster went back in and continued to struggle.
The Lions benched Foster again Nov. 18 against the New York Giants. But Scott was still out, so they replaced Foster with Blaine Saipaia, who is a versatile backup but is listed as a guard. Saipaia struggled against Michael Strahan, the NFL's active sacks leader.
Scott came back on Thanksgiving Day against Green Bay. He started but suffered a hamstring injury. The Lions left Foster out of uniform, so for the second time in five days, Saipaia was pressed into service against one of the NFL's top pass rushers. This time he was dominated by Aaron Kampman.
"With everything that started happening, in my mind, I'm like, ‘I can go out there and try it,'" Woody said. "‘Everybody else has been out there. Why can't I give it a try?' It just came to where Coach was like, ‘Hey, Damien, if something happens, prepare to go in there.'"
The Lions didn't put Woody at right tackle against the Packers. Coach Rod Marinelli said he would have wanted Woody to have a full week of practice. But now Scott is on injured reserve.
"It just came to a point where this week they're like, ‘Well, we're starting you at right tackle,'" Woody said. "I just look at it as a challenge. Go out there, compete and see what happens."
Woody lost the starting right guard job to Stephen Peterman after he suffered a rib injury earlier this season. He failed to win back the job, despite rotating in at times.
But he lost a lot of weight in the offseason and is considered an athletic lineman. He said he didn't need to relearn plays, he just had to adjust to being on an island more often and playing against smaller, quicker opponents.
Asked if he could have made this switch last year, Woody said: "No. I've got good feet, but I had some extra baggage. I feel great. Plus, I've got fresh legs. Other guys are dragging a little bit. I'm a little more fresh. It's a good situation. I'm excited."