The Detroit Lions have shut down the season of another key player for the remaining two games. On Tuesday afternoon the team announced rookie defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand has been placed on IR following a knee injury suffered in Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Hand was having one of the best rookie years of all interior defender. Hand finishes with 27 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. His final Pro Football Focus grade for 2018 is 87.4, which is currently 14th among all NFL interior lineman. Prior to his injury, he was the highest graded rookie DT:
Let’s give the other rookie interior defenders a big “Hand” but it is none other than the @Lions own Da’Shawn Hand (@TheHand54) continuing his reign as the highest graded IDs #OnePride pic.twitter.com/VSKXdLmS7P— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) December 6, 2018
Along with veteran Damon Harrison Sr. and third-year A’Shawn Robinson, the three have made up one of the best trio of interior defenders in football and they’re a big reason the Lions have had a defensive turnaround in the final half of the season, especially defending the run.
To fill his roster spot, the Lions have signed DT John Atkins from their practice squad. To take Atkins’ spot on the practice squad the Lions have signed wide receiver Brandon Reilly to the practice squad.
One has to wonder if other guys that have spent time on the injury list for a couple weeks—like running back Kerryon Johnson, Rick Wagner or Bruce Ellington—are on their way to IR soon.