It was nice while it lasted. For the first two weeks of the regular season, the Detroit Lions’ injury report was exactly how you wanted it. All 53 players were there at practice, and while Ezekiel Ansah has been limited for two weeks straight, there has been little doubt of his availability come gameday.
For two straight games, the Lions have had the luxury of an inactive list filled with healthy players. But it appears that may come to an end this week.
The first injury report for Lions vs. Falcons came out on Wednesday, and four Lions players were not participating in practice: Travis Swanson, Tavon Wilson, Dwayne Washington and Jarrad Davis.
The last name is the most concerning for the Lions. Davis, the Lions’ first-round pick this year, has been quarterbacking the entire defense from the second he took the practice field this offseason. He has been the foundation upon which this defense—which has looked unbelievably improved since last year—is built.
Davis was out there on the sunny practice field on Wednesday, albeit on the sidelines, suggesting his concussion may not be the kind that keeps him out for weeks. However, there is still a somewhat good chance he won’t be able to go on Sunday, given Detroit’s shortened week of preparation. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Can the Lions defeat the Falcons if Jarrad Davis cannot play?
My answer: This team proved to me on Monday that they can win in a lot of different ways. They’re deep at a lot of positions, and no longer need a guy like Matthew Stafford or Golden Tate or Theo Riddick to carry the entire team. I think the same goes for this defense.
However, Davis is such a key player in this matchup. The Falcons are not shy about using their backs as receivers. Last year, Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman combined for 883 receiving yards and five touchdowns through the air.
If Davis can’t go, that likely means Tahir Whitehead will slide to the middle, leaving either inexperienced Jalen Reeves-Maybin as the weakside linebacker or Paul Worrilow, who struggled in coverage against the Giants.
Against this high-flying Falcons offense, the Lions are going to need everyone they can possibly have at their disposal on defense. Missing Davis, in my opinion, would be a death blow for the Lions before the two teams even kicked off.
Can the Lions still beat the Falcons if Jarrad Davis can’t play?
This poll is closed