Thursday, August 22, 2013
Welcome to Ford Field
By Mike Reiss
DETROIT -- Welcome to Ford Field, where the Patriots visit the Lions tonight in the third preseason game for both teams (7:30 p.m. ET):
A feel for Ford Field. This is an indoor facility that opened in 2002, the same year as Gillette Stadium. It seats slightly more than 60,000 and can be one of the louder venues in the NFL. There are three levels of seating, and the majority of seats are blue, with a few on the second and third level, that look down on the middle of the field, that are gray. The Patriots were pumping loud music during practice this week in anticipation for the noise, which they can also expect to be an issue in a Week 4 game at Atlanta (enclosed Georgia Dome), and a Dec. 1 game at Houston (retractable roof Reliant Stadium).
Amendola among those not expected to play. Receiver Danny Amendola, who is hobbled and didn’t practice all week, isn’t expected to play tonight. The team doesn’t view Amendola’s absence as a major concern as he’s expected to be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 8 on the road against the Bills. Five-year veteran Julian Edelman is one likely candidate to play in the slot in Amendola’s absence. Colleague Field Yates previously listed the players not expected to suit up tonight (link here).
Starters likely to play into the third quarter. Earlier in the week, Bill Belichick spoke about the benefits of players going into the locker room at halftime and then coming out for the third quarter. This is usually the game, the third preseason tilt, for that to happen. Because of that, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of the team’s backup quarterbacks -- Ryan Mallett or Tim Tebow -- doesn't play tonight. The reps for the backups are likely to be limited.
Third visit in four years to Detroit. The Patriots have become familiar with Detroit as this is the team’s third visit here since 2010. They recorded a 45-24 Thanksgiving Day victory over the Lions in 2010, then returned in the 2011 preseason and were pounded, 34-10, in the third preseason game for both clubs that year. The teams didn't play each other last season. In 2014, the Lions are scheduled to visit the Patriots.
Green gets the call. Scott Green has been assigned to referee tonight’s game.