Everything’s coming down to the wire on Sunday night with the Green Bay Packers, but the Detroit Lions are dealing with a mountain of injuries that are simply holding them back on multiple fronts. It’s been quite apparent in the past couple of weeks, for without the presence of veterans and stars like Darius Slay and Theo Riddick, the team just hasn’t been able to find the depth and talent needed to take down the big beasts that remain on their radar.
But Wednesday brought much needed relief, as at least two top players returned to practice for the Lions; cornerback Darius Slay and center Travis Swanson.
Travis Swanson and Darius Slay ARE practicing for Lions today. No Riddick or Roberts. The return man hurt his shoulder vs. Cowboys.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) December 28, 2016
The returns of either player would be monumental for the Lions as they prepare for their final showdown. Swanson’s absence has left the Lions offensive line without a critical leader at center, and has also forced Graham Glasgow to move out of position at guard, creating a domino effect on offensive line depth.
For Darius Slay, his return would be crucial. The Lions struggled to find any answer to players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant without their top corner after he left the Giants game in Week 15. His return would bolster a secondary looking for any answer against deep threats from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
While it’s not all roses—the Lions are still without Theo Riddick, which will continue to harpoon them at running back depth—it’s certainly welcome news that should cheer up any Lions fan looking for signs of optimism going into the final week of the NFL season.