In the second quarter of the game, the Lions’ No. 1 cornerback Darius Slay left the game after making a tackle on Odell Beckham Jr. Slay would not return to the game, as the Lions first declared him questionable and then doubtful to return due to a hamstring injury. Earlier in the year, Slay missed two consecutive games with a hamstring issue. At this point, it’s not clear whether this is the same injury (or leg), and the team did not offer an update after the game.
With Slay gone, the Lions relied heavily upon Asa Jackson and Johnson Bademosi to shore up their secondary. Jackson specifically struggled, as he was often lined up against Beckham, who finished the game with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
In addition to Slay, the Lions also announced Golden Tate suffered an injury late in the game. On the late interception from Matthew Stafford, Tate was apparently targeted with a hit:
Tate got clobbered after the INT there. Still getting tended to on sideline.— John Niyo (@JohnNiyo) December 18, 2016
Here’s a look at the hit:
Here's a look at the Tate injury. Looks like he gets hit right in the rib area: pic.twitter.com/jTdH01lIo9— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 18, 2016
The team announced shortly thereafter that Tate was being evaluated for an injury and they would update after the game. Jim Caldwell, however, did not provide an update on the injury during his postgame press conference.
At this point, we have no idea what the injury actually is. He appears to get hit in the midsection/hip/rib area, but there’s no indication which specific body part is injured nor do we know the severity. Tate did speak to the media after the game, which usually wouldn’t happen after a concussion, but the Lions wide receiver refused to speak on the injury:
Tate when asked about injury: "We're not supposed to talk about injuries. Figured you would know that after being here for a couple years."— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) December 18, 2016
If Tate’s injury is bad enough where it would hold him out for next Monday’s game against the Cowboys, the impact would be huge. Tate has been an enormous part of the offense as of late. On Sunday, Tate had eight catches for 122 yards. In his past four games, he has 402 total yards and one touchdown. Detroit would likely call upon Andre Roberts and TJ Jones if Tate sits out next week. This would also be the first game missed by Tate since joining the Lions in 2014.