Most of the starting spots on the Detroit Lions are already taken. We know who the team's starting wide receivers will be once the regular season starts. We know who will primarily rotate around the defensive line. We know who the starting safeties will be, if Louis Delmas is actually healthy to begin the season.
But more than a few starting spots are still up for grabs this preseason, and Friday night's game against the New York Jets will be a good place for those players fighting for spots to step up.
Tight End: NFL teams usually carry three tight ends into the regular season, but the Lions may buck the trend. Last season, Tony Scheffler lined up in the slot pretty frequently, especially once Ryan Broyles got injured and Titus Young was told to leave the team. The organization might decide to cut Scheffler to save some money, because they really like undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria. I think they'll elect to keep four tight ends, but it will be a very interesting position to watch on Friday night.
Offensive Line: The Lions have consistently rotated their RG and RT spots throughout training camp. Dylan Gandy is getting the first shot at RG, but many people tend to believe that rookie 3rd round pick Larry Warford will eventually be the starter. Jason Fox is getting more reps at RT than Corey Hilliard, and will probably start Friday night. I think the coaching staff doesn't want to give a starting job to rookie (Warford) right away, and will let Gandy win/lose the job first.
Outside Linebacker: DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch will be two of the team's starting linebackers, but the third spot is anyone's guess. It seems like it is Ashlee Palmer's spot to lose. Palmer has been a special teams ace for the Lions so far, but hasn't made much of an impact on defense. Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham made an interesting comment last week, saying that Travis Lewis is more of a middle linebacker, leading some people to belive that he is out of the running for the starting outside linebacker spot. Tahir Whitehead, though, has had a very good camp, and will make it a competition with Palmer for the starting nod.
There are more than just these three position battles to look out for, but these may be the most important and most intriguing so far.