The Detroit Lions announced on Wednesday morning that three players currently on injured reserve will return to practice this week: guard Joe Dahl, running back Bo Scarbrough and cornerback Mike Ford.
While these players remain on injured reserve, they can now come off the list at any point over the next 21 days, which would result in a necessary corresponding move to keep the active roster at 53 players.
For Dahl, his return could prompt another shift in the offensive line. Dahl started the season as the team’s first-string left guard. His injury caused the Lions to shift rookie Jonah Jackson to the left side, and instead of replacing Jackson’s spot with a depth interior offensive lineman, they used Halapoulivaati Vaitai at guard and kept backup tackle Tyrell Crosby at right tackle. Dahl’s potential return would likely shift Jackson back to right guard, but it would leave Detroit with an interesting decision: Keep Crosby, who has been playing well, in the starting lineup at right tackle or put Vaitai—the guy the Lions spent a lot of money on in free agency—there for the first time this season.
As for Mike Ford and Bo Scarbrough, both remain depth pieces who are unlikely to play in a starting role upon their return. However, Ford has been a key member of the Lions’ special teams units in previous seasons.
One player not mentioned by the Lions is starting nickel cornerback Justin Coleman, who suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener and remains on IR. He, too, was eligible to return to practice this week, but it appears he may still be a few weeks off. Darryl Roberts has been starting in Coleman’s place.