The Detroit Lions were back on the practice field on Thursday, as they prepare for a Week 7 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, and they got some positive news as every player who missed practice on Wednesday was able to return in some form today—with one exception.
Returned to practice, Still on IR
- LT Taylor Decker (finger) — Day 9 of the 21-day evaluation period
- DL Kevin Strong (thigh) — Day 9 of the 21-day evaluation period
- DL Da’Shawn Hand (groin) — Day 2 of the 21-day evaluation period
Decker has now missed his third practice in a row, and while he is technically not on the injury report (because he is still on IR) things seem to be trending in the wrong direction. The Lions now have just 12 days remaining to make a decision on whether to active Decker to the 53-man roster or keep him on injured reserve and lose him for the season.
Strong and Hand continue to work their way through the evaluation process but there are no indicators on their statuses.
Now, Let’s take a closer look at the official injury report from Thursday, with the changes noted in bold.
No practice on Thursday
All three players listed in this section on Wednesday have been upgraded and practiced Thursday.
- TE T.J. Hockenson (knee) - upgraded from no practice on Wednesday
- RB D’Andre Swift (groin)
- FB Jason Cabinda (hip) - upgraded from no practice on Wednesday
- EDGE Trey Flowers (knee)
- DT Nick Williams (knee) - upgraded from no practice on Wednesday
Hockenson returned to practice today, as has become commonplace the last few weeks, so he appears on track to play again on Sunday. But, after offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn spoke to the media today, it’s fair to worry about his playing time being scaled back a bit.
“You have some guys that didn’t practice as much last week and it showed up in the game,” Lynn said. “Guys that don’t practice as much, we won’t put as much on their plate, regardless of who they are.”
That doesn’t sound good for Hockenson, nor Swift, who has been limited every practice this year (save one full practice early in the season) but has gotten full workload on game days. Cabinda is the only other offensive player limited in practices this week, but the majority of his snaps have come on special teams—he only played two offensive snaps in Week 6.
Will Lynn’s statement also apply to the defensive side of the ball? Most likely. If so, that could mean more playing time for younger players along the defensive line and edge with Brockers, Williams and Flowers still clearly nursing injuries.
- S Will Harris (hip) - upgraded from limited practice Wednesday
- EDGE Charles Harris (hip/oblique) - upgraded from limited practice Wednesday
- DT Michael Brockers (shoulder) - upgraded from limited practice Wednesday
Harris is the best development from Thursday’s practice. He left Sunday’s game with an oblique injury and was considered “day-to-day” by Dan Campbell on Monday. But as a full participant in Thursday’s practice, it’s a safe bet he’ll play on Sunday in LA.