Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker will reportedly miss the start of the 2021 NFL season after being placed on short-term injured reserve.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Decker underwent finger surgery and will miss about a month.
Decker has been Detroit's starting left tackle in each of his first five seasons.
With Decker set to miss at least the first few weeks of the season, Matt Nelson is likely to serve as his replacement. He is one of only three offensive tackles on the active roster along with Decker and rookie first-round pick Penei Sewell.
The 25-year-old Nelson, who was signed by Detroit as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa in 2019, spent his first year on the practice squad and was active for all 16 games last season, making one start.
Decker was selected 16th overall by the Lions in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State. Since entering the league, he has started all 71 games he has appeared in.
While Decker missed eight games in 2017, he has been durable, missing only one game combined in the other four seasons.
Decker was slated to protect the blind side of new starting quarterback Jared Goff, who was acquired during the offseason as part of the trade that sent veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams.
In addition to keeping Goff clean, Nelson will be tasked with paving the way for running backs D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
The first test for the Decker-less Lions will come Sunday when Detroit hosts the San Francisco 49ers.