The Detroit Lions may finally be getting healthier along the defensive line. On Thursday, veteran defensive tackle Mike Daniels returned to practice, his first since suffering a foot injury in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Daniels was hailed as a big free agent signing, as Detroit swept him up in free agency after the Green Bay Packers cut him right before camp. The veteran defensive tackle has a long history of solid pass rushing production from the interior, totalling 29 sacks in seven seasons.
Without Daniels, the Lions’ pass rush has been stunted. They have the worst pass rush win rate in the NFL and rank just 27th in total sacks (10).
It’s probably too early to know if Daniels has a realistic chance of playing this week against the New York Giants, but his linemate Da’Shawn Hand continues to trend in that direction. Hand was a full participant in Wednesday’s padded practice and did not appear to be limited during the opening portion of Thursday’s practice, either.
If both Daniels and Hand return in the next few weeks, we could see an entirely remodeled defensive line, that has, thus far, underwhelmed. The question is: Is it too late?
In other defensive line news, Damon Harrison Sr. did not practice on Thursday, but that appears to be a veteran rest deal for Snacks, who was a full participant on Wednesday despite a groin injury. Last week, Harrison got a day off from practice, so this could simply be the new normal for the veteran run stuffer.
The full injury report should be out around 4 p.m. ET