The Detroit Lions are rolling. They’ve won six of their past seven games, including a season sweep of their division rival Minnesota Vikings. They now hold a comfortable two-game lead in the NFC North, and they’ve managed to do it without some key contributors. Both DeAndre Levy and Ameer Abdullah started the season with the Lions, but were quickly sidelined with injuries. Because the Lions have been notoriously quiet with injuries, fans are left to wonder whether they’ll see either of those players suit up again this year, but some news slipped through the cracks this week.
First, running back Ameer Abdullah—who has been on the injured reserve list since suffering an injury in Week 2—reportedly visited Dr. Robert Anderson and the visit “went well” per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. According to Ian Rapoport, Abdullah’s foot was found to be “structurally sound” and it is now up to the Lions to decide whether to speed up the recovery process. However, according to Jennifer Hammond of Fox 2 Detroit, Abdullah was spotted in a full walking boot this Monday before the doctor visit. This report seems corroborated by Abdullah’s Instagram account, which had this post on Monday with Abdullah sporting the boot:
Abdullah is one candidate possible to return from the injured reserve list this year. Another is linebacker Jon Bostic, who broke a bone in his foot during a preseason practice. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press gave an update on Bostic’s progress:
Bostic still is experiencing what one person briefed on the checkup described as "some soreness" in the foot he broke in an August practice against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to Birkett, Bostic also visited with Dr. Anderson this week to check up on his foot. Initial reports had Bostic’s recovery time around 6-12 weeks, but it has now been about three months since the injury, and Bostic doesn’t appear quite ready to return.
As for which player the Lions will choose to bring back from the IR list, it doesn’t appear that either player’s return is imminent. Bostic is probably closer, but the Lions may choose to sit him for the season for a chance at Abdullah’s return, since his impact on the team would be greater.
The other significant injury the Lions are dealing with is DeAndre Levy. Levy returned to practice two weeks ago, but has yet to see the field. He has participated in five practices thus far, but was limited in each session, so he’s still likely adjusting to football speed.
However, according to several beat writers, it looks like Lions fans can expect Levy to return next week against the New Orleans Saints:
Again, the expectation is that Levy won't be back until next week https://t.co/Y2MwsMeqiY via @freep— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 23, 2016
@mattcargo Wasn't meant to be correction. Just pointing out I have to report facts. I expect Levy to play next week.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) November 24, 2016
Levy’s return could be a boost for a defense that has struggled mightily to cover the middle of the field. But questions still remain about Levy’s effectiveness considering he has only played six quarters of football since the end of the 2014 season.
Regardless, the injury situation in Detroit looks like it’s only getting better, and that’s just what the Lions need as they begin the home stretch to their playoff run.