The Detroit Lions returned to practice on Wednesday and surprisingly Golden Tate was participating during the open, individual portion of practice.
Tate suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the Week 6 game against the Saints. Initial reports said he’s be out a few weeks with an AC Joint sprain, which seemed to be confirmed when Tate was wearing a sling on his right arm over the weekend.
However, Tate’s return to practice suggests that he may not miss much time—if any. Not only was Tate at practice, but according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he was not wearing a red no-contact jersey.
No red jersey. We only see position drills and I’m sure he’ll be limited but good sign he was there on a Wednesday going thru drills https://t.co/rEx5Qe2v9V— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 25, 2017
Now before you start planning to plug Tate in your fantasy lineup this week, there are still several reasons to believe he won’t play this week against the Steelers. First, their promotion of Jace Billingsley to the active roster suggests that the Lions believe they’ll need some reinforcements on Sunday. Additionally, Tate didn’t seem too active during Wednesday’s practice:
Golden Tate IS practicing today. He ran some limited routes in individuals and didn't reach too much for passes, but he was out there.— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) October 25, 2017
Still, Wednesday was progress that many didn’t expect from Tate this early. If he’s not able to go this week, he’ll have an extra day of rest to prepare for Week 9’s matchup against the Packers on “Monday Night Football.”
In addition to Tate, Glover Quin practiced again on Wednesday and is a real possibility to play this week. However, it appears he isn’t completely through concussion protocol yet, as he was not available to the media in the locker room prior to practice.
Glover Quin talks for 35-45 minutes every Wednesday. He wasn't around today. So he's obviously still in concussion protocol.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 25, 2017
There were only two players that sat out of practice on Wednesday: offensive lineman Greg Robinson and Emmett Cleary. Without those two in the lineup, it seems more and more likely that former Steeler Brian Mihalik will start at left tackle on Sunday.
The full injury report will come out later this afternoon.