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Report: Lions planning to place Jamal Agnew on IR, could return for playoff push

It’s not great news for the Lions’ Pro Bowl punt returner.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We’ve waited a week for an update on Detroit Lions punt returner/defensive back Jamal Agnew, who was carted off after a serious-looking injury against the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, it appears the news is bad. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions are planning on placing Agnew on injured reserve this week:

However, with the bad news comes a little good news. If Agnew could realistically return for a playoff push, it likely means he did not suffer a torn ACL, which former NFL doctor David J. Chao feared after watching the video of the injury. A torn ACL typically requires surgery and at least six months of recovery.

NFL rules require a player to stay on injured reserve for at least eight weeks, meaning if Agnew returns, he wouldn’t be able to play until Week 15’s game against the Bills. Unfortunately, had the Lions placed Agnew on injured reserve a week earlier, it would mean Agnew could return for Week 14 against the Cardinals, but who knows whether he’d be healthy enough to do so anyways?

Last week, Detroit signed Lenzy Pipkins to help build up the Lions’ secondary, which is suffering from several injuries right now. Aside from Agnew, Teez Tabor (groin), Quandre Diggs (broken hand) and Tavon Wilson (back) all are dealing with ailments. However, the Lions haven’t practiced since last Sunday’s game, and their statuses going forward remain unclear.

For now, the Lions will have to deal without one of their more electric players on both offense, defense and special teams. While it won’t be hard to replace his minimal offensive production, the Lions will have a tough time replacing Agnew’s punt return abilities. Last week, we broke down some replacement possibilities, but none are likely to match the productivity that Agnew had last year, which earned him All Pro honors.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.