Despite Wednesday’s daunting injury report, the Detroit Lions’ offensive line may actually be healthier than expected. Three starters on the offensive line saw their designation improve for Thursday’s practice, and all three are listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Most notably, center Frank Ragnow practiced for the first time since suffering a fractured throat against the Green Bay Packers. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell noted that Ragnow was going to see a specialist on Thursday, and the fact that he practiced has to be promising for the Pro Bowler’s return.
Additionally, left tackle Taylor Decker returned to practice after sitting out on Tuesday. Although Decker played every snap last week, he has been dealing with a groin injury since Tuesday.
Finally, Halapoulivaati Vaitai was upgraded from limited to full practice, suggesting he is nearing the end of his concussion protocol. If he exhibits no symptoms after Thursday’s practice, he’ll likely play on Saturday.
Put that all together, and the Lions could finally have a fully healthy offensive line that looks like this:
LT: Taylor Decker
LG: Jonah Jackson
C: Frank Ragnow
RG: Oday Aboushi
RT: Halapoulivaati Vaitai
That, of course, would come at a perfect time, as they host a Buccaneers team with a challenging defensive front that includes Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and William Gholston.
Elsewhere, reserve tackle Tyrell Crosby and wide receiver Kenny Golladay have been ruled out for Saturday.
Here’s the full injury report for Week 16.
OT Tyrell Crosby (ankle) - OUT
WR Kenny Golladay (hip) - OUT
LB Jamie Collins Sr. (neck) - Questionable (didn’t practice all week)
LT Taylor Decker (groin) - Questionable
S Jayron Kearse (hip) - Questionable
K Matt Prater (back) - Questionable (returned to practice Thursday)
C Frank Ragnow (throat) - Questionable
CB Darryl Roberts (hip) - Questionable (full practice Friday)
QB Matthew Stafford (rib/thumb) - Questionable
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai (concussion) - Questionable
Mike Ford and Julian Okwara were not given injury designations and should be expected to play.