After his social media post stirred some speculation, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs revealed that he won’t be playing in the team’s season opener on Thursday.
Buggs spoke to reporters after practice on September 4, saying that the team told him he would be sitting out when the Lions take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
“As of right now, they told me that I was not going to play,” Buggs said, via SI.com. “So, that’s what we’ve got, and I’m gonna be straightforward with it, because they were straightforward with me with that. And, as of right now, I will not be playing.”
Isaiah Buggs: ‘Things Change, Relationships Change’
Buggs had sparked speculation about his future with the team when he took to Twitter on September 3 to share a cryptic message about his situation changing.
“I’m good but just know situations change #96BALLFOREVER Y’all gone see,” Buggs wrote in his post on Twitter.
Buggs had missed practice on Saturday, which led some fans to question whether he could be leaving the team via trade. The defensive tackle said on Monday that there was “nothing to address” regarding his status with the team, hinting it was more of a personal than a team matter.
“I’m not gonna technically say that. I’m just saying in life period, it’s nothing dealing with football, it’s nothing dealing with here,” Buggs explained. “So, I don’t want anybody to take that context and run with it. But, at the same time, relationships do change. That’s what I want to say, there’s nothing else to say about it.”
As Jeff Risdon of USA Today’s Lions Wire noted, the Lions will likely call on Benito Jones and rookie Brodric Martin to take over Buggs’ place at nose tackle. Martin said in July that he was excited to take on the Super Bowl champs in the season opener.
“Definitely, just being there [in Kansas City], with those fans, with that O-line, I definitely have envisioned the whole thing, making plays,” Martin told reporters, via SI.com’s All Lions’ Vito Chirco. “The (fans) going to be live, and it’s just going to amp me up, too.
“It’s going to amp you up or you’re going to shy from it, and I’m not the type of person to shy from it.”
Future Uncertain for Lions Tackle
Buggs expressed disappointment about his benching, saying he expected to take on a significant role for the team this year. He joined the Lions in 2022 after three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, starting 13 games and playing an important role in the defensive line. He made 46 tackles with one sack, one forced fumble and a pass defended.
“Playing an important role last year, leading into this year, you think you’re gonna be that guy. You’re thinking they’re all in with you and then, boom, snap of a finger, it’s like that,” Buggs told reporters on Monday. “I’ve always been a team player, always been a role player. Whatever they have for me, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Buggs added that he believed he had a strong training camp, but added that he trusted the team and was willing to do whatever it took to help them win.
“I’ve always been a team player, and whatever they’ve got for me, that’s what they’ve got for me,” the 27-year-old stated. “I’m gonna work at it, whatever they have planned for me, and that’s what it’s gonna be.”
Nathan Dougherty is a sports reporter covering the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions for Heavy. Previously he wrote for the Rochester Business Journal and served as the assistant editor of athletic trade magazines Coaching Management, Athletic Management and Training & Conditioning. He is based out of Rochester, New York, and loves everything football. More about Nathan Dougherty