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Lions to open preseason in Oakland, get Tampa on national TV

Associated Press • Apr 12, 2018 at 12:45 AM

ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions' newly released preseason schedule offers a couple surprises, including another trip to the West Coast.

They open the exhibition slate with a game in Oakland against Jon Gruden and the new-look Raiders, then return home the following week to face the New York Giants. They return to the road in Week 3 for a nationally televised game against Tampa Bay, then close the preseason with a game back at Ford Field against the Browns.

The Buccaneers game will air at 8 p.m. Aug. 24 on CBS. The rest of the dates have yet to be released.

This is the first time Detroit has missed Buffalo in the preseason since 2001, and it's the first time the club has been on the West Coast for an exhibition since a 27-26 loss against Oakland in 2014.

The Lions also have two trips out west during the regular season, with games in Arizona and San Francisco. President Rod Wood has said the club is toying with the idea of staying out west if those games are back to back, particularly if they're in the second half of the season.

Detroit could also opt to extend the Oakland trip with a couple joint practices. The club has done that for its preseason openers the last two years, both of which were on the road, first in Pittsburgh and then Indianapolis.

Coach Matt Patricia has already said he hopes to have more joint practices this year, too.

"I think any of those situations that are advantageous to help you evaluate your team, especially in training camp, or be able to maybe change the scenery of training camp is always a good idea, if it works out," Patricia said. "If it's something that as a team, another team or another situation that you think we'll be able to work well together. It's always about improving."

The regular-season schedule is due out sometime in the next week or two.

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