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Tuesday open thread: Which injured Lions player would provide the biggest boost?

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Injuries are starting to pile up for Detroit. Which player returning to the lineup would most benefit the team?

Detroit Lions Training Camp Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Spirits have never been quite so high after this football team lost a game—at least not since I’ve been paying attention.

Sunday’s defeat at the hand of the Kansas City Chiefs marked the end of the Detroit Lions undefeated season, but it didn’t curb the enthusiasm fans have for this team. And there’s good reason for this fan base to be optimistic about this team. After all, they just went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in all of football from start to finish.

Not only did the Lions hang with one of the premier teams in the league, they did so shorthanded. Detroit was missing key players on both sides of the ball, and some were hampered to the point of full-blown panic. No Darius Slay, no Mike Daniels, no Da’Shawn Hand whatsoever. A hip injury landed Matthew Stafford on Friday’s injury report and suddenly it seemed like the sky was at a free fall.

All of this leads me to Tuesday’s Question of the Day...

Which injured Lions player would provide the biggest boost?

Four weeks into the regular season—and even back into the preseason—the Lions have come face to face with some potentially disastrous injuries. They’ve also managed to skirt those disasters on a few occasions—Frank Ragnow and Jarrad Davis (all in one meaningless game no less).

But Week 4’s game against the Chiefs saw a host of other Lions get bit by the injury bug. The aforementioned Stafford played through a pretty visible hip injury, and safety Quandre Diggs and standout rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson both were injured in last week’s contest.

While it would be nice to see the Lions defensive front add both Daniels and Hand back to the fold, and of course a healthy Stafford is the best Stafford, I think my answer would have to be Hockenson. For one reason, it seemed like his injury was the most severe, and a report suggests the Lions will not be putting him on injured reserve—which is at least some good news.

As far as on the field, the guy is just such a dynamic player. He’s capable of causing a mismatch at any level of the defense, and he’s being utilized really well in Darrell Bevell’s offense. Sure, the Lions have Jesse James, but Hockenson is someone this offense needs to run at its greatest potential.

Your turn.