The bad injury news keeps coming in for the Detroit Lions. A day after Detroit saw Rick Wagner and Bruce Ellington return to practice, stud defensive tackle Damon Harrison sat out of practice again, putting his availability this week against the Minnesota Vikings in doubt.
Still no DT Damon Harrison (ankle) or S Charles Washington (hamstring) at the open portion of Lions practice Thurs.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) December 20, 2018
Harrison has been a revelation for the Detroit Lions’ run defense this season. Early in the year, the Lions were one of the worst teams at trying to stop the run. Over the past six weeks, they’ve been one of the best.
Week 1-9: 142.5 rushing yards/game (29th), 5.14 YPC (31st)
Week 10-15: 79.2 rushing yards/game (2nd), 3.4 YPC (2nd)
The change hasn’t been solely due to “Snack.” The improvement of A’Shawn Robinson (sixth in PFF’s run defense grade among interior DL) has also been a huge factor in Detroit’s improved run.
But with fellow interior defender Da’Shawn Hand already on injured reserve, this is a bad week for the Lions to be without Harrison. With a new offensive coordinator in tow, the Vikings have a new-found commitment to the running game, and one week in, it appears to be working. Against a poor Dolphins defense, the Viking ran the ball 40 times last week for 220 total rushing yards.
There is still one more day of practice before Detroit’s home finale against the Vikings, so it’s possible Snacks works his way back into the lineup before then, but right now the outlook doesn’t look particularly good, and that’s not good news for a Lions team that is likely already overmatched by this Vikings team.