On Monday, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell expressed some optimism regarding the injury statuses of wide receiver Tyrell Williams and left tackle Taylor Decker. He left the option of both returning this week, noting that the next 48 hours will tell him a lot about their chances to play this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tuesday, Campbell sang a bit of a different tune during his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Ticket’s “Stoney & Jansen with Heather” show.
Regarding Decker, who remains on injured reserve after suffering a finger injury in practice that required surgery, Campbell seemed to indicate that the left tackle will come off IR this week and participate in practice starting Wednesday.
“We’re anticipating either Wednesday, well Wednesday he’ll be out there on a limited basis, and it’s kind of let’s just see how he feels,” Campbell said. “Let’s see what it looks like. Let’s see how he can function and move around a little bit.”
But just because he’ll be out there doesn’t mean he’ll play in Sunday’s game. Campbell said the team will continue to operate assuming Decker won’t play this week until the veteran offensive tackle makes it clear he’s ready to go.
“We’re just going to take it day-by-day. Until we know he’s like, ‘I know I’m ready. I can go. I can do it,’ we’re assuming that he’s out,” Campbell said. “Now we’re going to try to get him back, but we’re going to function as if he’s not here until we know that he feels good about it and we do, as well.”
The news is much more dire for No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams. He suffered a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet collision in Week 1’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. After a week of monitoring, the Lions placed him on injured reserve, and it doesn’t sound like he’s coming off anytime soon.
“That doesn’t look good right now,” Campbell said. “I would say that’s still off in the distance for sure.”
Obviously, if Williams is still exhibiting symptoms from a concussion suffered over a month ago, we’re talking about a very serious injury. Oftentimes concussions that last this long can cost a player an entire season, but football shouldn’t be on his mind right now. Let’s just hope he gets better soon.
As for the rest of the Lions receiving corps, Detroit is shorthanded. Many considered this group of receivers among the worst in the league going into the season, and now without Williams and Quintez Cephus—who suffered a broken collarbone last week—Detroit is down to the likes of Kalif Raymond, Amon-Ra St. Brown and KhaDarel Hodge.
As a result, the Lions’ passing offense has really struggled in the past few weeks. Campbell, however, refused to put the blame on injuries or the receivers they currently have healthy.
“I’m going to put that on us,” Campbell said. “We need to design some better schemes here and I’m part of that, as well—all of us to see if we can come up with better ways to get our guys going a little bit.”