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Lions' Defense Working to Improve Performance on Third Down

The Detroit Lions were not able to effectively get off the field on third down against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Detroit Lions' defense started the season being able to limit the opponents' ability to convert on third down. 

Unfortunately, against the Los Angeles Rams' offense, Aaron Glenn's defense struggled to get off the field, as the Rams successfully converted on 9-of-13 third downs. 

"Well, hell, I need to go back to third down, you know, focusing on that again," Glenn said. "But, again, this league is hard, and when you see a problem and try to correct that problem. It doesn't mean that you take away from what you've already doing, but when you try to just nail down on each one of those things and eventually, it will all come together." 

Glenn added, "I think last week was our worst third-down day that we've had all year. We've got to make sure we stay on top of what we do, and our guys understand that."

Potential debut of cornerback Mark Gilbert

Lions head coach Dan Campbell hinted on Wednesday that Gilbert could be a player that is activated on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Gilbert was signed off of the Steelers' practice squad earlier this season, and is a strong candidate to make his debut for the Lions this weekend. 

“We like Gilbert. That was a good pickup, (general Manager) Brad (Holmes) and those guys finding him. We do like him," Campbell said. "We think he’s an outside guy, and it’s really been more of him just getting acclimated with our terminology and watching his movement skills, what we think he does well. Look, there’s a chance he could be up this week."

Glenn noted on Thursday that the team is hoping to see what the former Steelers defensive back has to offer. 

"Well, that's the plan," Glenn said. "That's the plan to try to get him out and see exactly what he's got. You never know until you put a player out there. So, I can't sit there and promise you that he's going to get 20-30 or whatever plays, but I'm sure he is going to have to play on special teams and we'll see exactly what he is able to do for us on defense."

Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp tests positive for COVID-19

On Thursday morning, it was revealed that Detroit's special teams coordinator tested positive for COVID-19. 

While addressing reporters on Thursday, Fipp noted that he was asymptomatic and that his most recent rapid test this morning was positive. 

He revealed he tested positive on Tuesday of this week, and has been working from home to aid in the team's preparations. 

Since he was vaccinated, if two negative test results are produced on back-to-back days, he would be able to return to the sidelines this Sunday. 

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