If you’re hoping the Detroit Lions’ running game gets back on track this week against the Baltimore Ravens, I have some bad news for you. The Lions could be missing key players on offense, as three starters sat out of Thursday’s practice.
Ameer Abdullah is suffering from a curious neck injury. The Lions’ starting running back did not appear to be injured at any point during Thursday’s contest against the Vikings, and he finished the game without incident. If Abdullah can’t go, this will be his first missed game of the season.
But perhaps more alarming is Detroit’s situation on their offensive line. Both T.J. Lang and Travis Swanson missed their second consecutive practice this week, meaning the Lions could be out two starting guards. Graham Glasgow will undoubtedly slide over to take over center if Swanson can’t go, but that leaves Detroit extremely vulnerable at both guard positions.
Detroit only has one player on the roster left that they consider a guard (according to their own roster list): Don Barclay. Barclay has yet to play a game since joining Detroit on October31. Both Emmett Cleary and Corey Robinson (listed as tackles) have played some guard for the Lions this year. Joe Dahl also began practice this week after spending a couple months on injured reserve. He still remains on IR, but could be activated this week if Detroit believes he’s ready to contribute.
All that being said, the Lions’ offensive line could really be jumbled this week, and that’s not good news for a running game that has struggled mightily even with their starting lineup intact. The Ravens are only allowing 4.0 yards per carry, so this isn’t exactly a great week for the Lions to have additional injury issues.
On Baltimore’s side, there was concern about their running game, too, when starting running back Alex Collins missed Wednesday’s practice. However, Collins practiced on Thursday and “showed no signs of injury” per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. Per the Ravens injury report, Collins was a full participant on Thursday.
Collins is averaging an impressive 4.9 yards per carry this year and leads the team with 630 rushing yards. Considering no other back on the team is averaging more than 3.5 yards per carry, having Collins in the lineup would be huge for Baltimore.
Each team’s injury report follows:
Lions injury report:
RB Ameer Abdullah (neck) - No practice
CB Jamal Agnew (knee) - No practice
G T.J. Lang (foot) - No practice
C Travis Swanson (knee) - No practice
DE Dwight Freeney (not injury related) - Full practice
QB Matthew Stafford (ankle) - Full practice
RB Dwayne Washington (hip) - Full practice
Ravens injury report:
G Jermaine Eluemunor (shoulder) - No practice
CB Marlon Humphrey (thigh) - Limited practice
LB C.J. Mosley (ankle) - Limited practice
CB Jimmy Smith (achilles) - Limited practice
RB Alex Collins (calf) - Full practice
T Ronnie Stanley (knee) - Full practice