Reiff has always been considered to be a key part of the team’s future. He was widely expected to contend for a spot at one of the tackle positions going into training camp.
If Reiff performs well over the course of the Lions camp he may earn himself a starting role. HC Jim Schwartz has already made it known that he will not just start Reiff because he was a first round pick. It’s obvious that Schwartz wants the young OT to prove himself as the starter and will not promote him to first string otherwise.
Some rumors have even put Reiff starting at guard this season, but with the injury to Backus the offensive line will need help. The team already has Gosder Cherilus at RT.
It is crucial for Reiff to play well in the preseason and this will especially be the case in the team’s match-up against the Cleveland Browns next week. The first few games of the preseason should show where Reiff’s development is.
An even bigger test for Reiff will be Detroit’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens defense. The Lions will be watching their young OT closely to see how he handles a top defense like the Ravens.
Riley Reiff was chosen as a first round pick to be the heir apparent to Jeff Backus. His time may have just come sooner than the team had originally planned.