The Detroit Lions have had extraordinary health for this late in the season (knock on wood), but in the second half, it appeared their luck may have run out when Jamal Agnew stayed down on the field for some time. After a covering on a kickoff, Agnew was dealing with some knee stiffness, but walked off the field under his own power.
Thankfully, it appears the injury isn’t all that serious. “I'm good," Agnew told Kyle Meinke of MLive after the game. "Knee just stiffened up on me a little bit. Don't know the extent of it, but it's not feeling too serious.”
Agnew has been an absolute stud for the Lions in the return game. Coming into Week 11, Agnew led the entire NFL with a punt return average of 18.3. No other punt returner was averaging over 14 yards per punt.
But the Lions have also started to carve out a role for Agnew’s playmaking abilities on offense. For the fourth straight game, Agnew saw the field on offense. Against the Bears, he had a 4-yard carry but he’s also been an effective decoy in the backfield.
Although Agnew seems to have avoided a major injury, he doesn’t have much time to recover before their next game. The Lions play on Thursday in a huge divisional matchup against the Vikings, meaning Agnew has just three days to get cleared by doctors. Agnew doesn’t seem too worried, though. “We'll see. Get it looked at tomorrow and see what happens.”
If Agnew can’t go on the quick turnaround, the Lions have several options to replace his special teams duties. Ameer Abdullah returned one kickoff for 15 yards after Agnew left the game on Sunday, but Detroit could also turn to Golden Tate, TJ Jones and Jace Billingsley if needed.