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Lions feel Halapoulivaati Vaitai “in a good place” after back surgery

Dan Campbell believes Jared Goff has proven he’s "made for" the Lions, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate if Detroit will look to upgrade at QB in the 2023 NFL Draft.

When the Lions signed Graham Glasgow as a free agent earlier this month, one response was that the move didn’t seem to bode well for Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s future with the team.

Vaitai missed all of last season because of a back injury that required surgery and there was a chance to save some money by parting ways with the right guard, but the Lions were able to address the financial issue without losing Vaitai. Vaitai agreed to a pay cut in 2023 and he’ll be in line to hit free agency after the season rather than having to wait until after the 2024 campaign.

At the league meetings this week, Holmes said the team has heard good things about Vaitai’s recovery and that all of the developments have them feeling good about the state of the offensive line.

“He’s in a good place,” Holmes said, via Kyle Meinke of “We actually got some recent re-reports back that he’s in a really good place. And we felt confident about doing the deal and glad to have him back. Yeah, and Vaitai, man, he’s a good player. He’s a starting-level guard who fits what we’re about along the offensive line. But obviously, there are question marks or were question marks about his health and all of that. To get Glasgow in the fold — and Glasgow is a guy that’s got positional versatility, as well. Obviously, we all know about his ability at guard, but the stuff that he did at center on tape last year was really exciting. It’s good to have that competition, and it should be good.”

The Lions have starters back at the other four spots on the offensive line and that unit should be a strength for Detroit in their bid for a postseason berth in 2023.