Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has made it somewhat of a tradition on Monday afternoons to provide injury updates for the team. This has obviously been a breath of fresh air given how the previous regime treated injuries, and it’s been especially informative with all of the injuries the Lions have incurred over the first five games of the season.
This week was no different, as Campbell gave several updates on the statuses of players that were injured in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings and those who could potentially return from injury this week.
Let’s break it all down.
Taylor Decker, LT
Decker has missed all season with a finger injury suffered in the practices leading up to Week 1. He has been traveling with the team and going through warmups, but he remains on injured reserve and he’s sporting a brace/sleeve on his left hand.
“Yeah, I think there’s hope,” Campbell said. “We’re going to see where Decker is at Wednesday. At least that’s where we’ll begin.”
If Decker returns this week, the big question will be where he plays. Early on, rookie offensive tackle Penei Sewell was playing lights out at left tackle in his absence, leading many to believe the seventh overall pick should stay on the left side and make Decker slide to the right. But Sewell has struggled in the past few weeks.
Campbell said the plan at the moment is to keep Decker on the left side when he returns, but that’s a conversation they will continue to have.
“That’s tentatively what I think is the way that we’re talking about going,” Campbell said. “We’ll have a meeting this afternoon and really dive into all that stuff.”
Quintez Cephus, WR
Campbell confirmed NFL Network’s report that Cephus suffered a broken collarbone, and like the report, Campbell suggested this could be a season-ending injury.
“We’ll know a lot more this afternoon as it pertains to how long he’s going to be out. Certainly, this is weeks and weeks, and that’s if we get him back for the season. But he’s out for a significant amount of time, if not the whole season.”
Tyrell Williams, WR
With Cephus out for a long period of time, the focus has shifted to Williams, the team’s No. 1 receiver who has been out since suffering a concussion in the season opener. Though Campbell didn’t give a direct update, it sounds like they’re monitoring this week, giving him a chance to potentially clear the league’s concussion protocol and get activated from IR.
“We’ll know more on Tyrell after tomorrow, as well.”
Da’Shawn Hand, DL
Hand suffered a groin injury in training camp, and although it was considered short-term at the time, it has now nearly been two months since the injury. Unfortunately, even though he’s eligible to come off injured reserve at any time, it doesn’t sound like it will be this week.
“I would say Hand is a little further away right now.”
Kevin Strong, DL
Strong suffered a concussion in Week 1, and while he appeared on track to be cleared in Week 3, he injured his thigh during a full-contact practice and was placed on injured reserve. He is eligible to return this week and Campbell made it seem like he would be back on the practice field.
“We know Strong’s back,” Campbell said.
Both quarterback Tim Boyle and cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu are eligible to come off injured reserve as early as this week, but Campbell did not provide an update on either player, likely suggesting both are not expected to return this week.