The Detroit Lions have declared their injury designations for their Week 8 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles and things appear to be trending up on the injury front.
Before we get to the players on the active roster, let’s take a quick look at the players who are designated to return from injured reserve.
Returned to practice, Still on IR
- LT Taylor Decker (finger) — Day 17 of the 21-day evaluation period
- DL Kevin Strong (thigh) — Day 17 of the 21-day evaluation period
- DL Da’Shawn Hand (groin) — Day 10 of the 21-day evaluation period
The Lions have two open spots on their roster, and if a player from this group is going to take one of them, it’ll likely be Da’Shawn Hand.
“I would say Hand is the closest one to being ready to go and he’s another, ‘We’ll see what he looks like today,’” Dan Campbell said at his press conference on Friday. “He had a pretty good day yesterday. We’ll see how he feels after today’s practice, how he wakes up in the morning or after today and go from there.”
Campbell also gave an update on Decker’s status, saying “All options are on the table” right now. If Decker is able to return to the active roster, it won’t be before the bye week, and it’s possible they could activate him before he is ready to contribute as long as they have the roster space.
He also addressed the issue of Decker returning to practice, and after just two days, no longer being able to participate because of his setback—including missing today’s practice.
“It’s tough to say because all parties felt like it was the right time to do it,” Campbell said. “It felt like, hey, he wanted to give it a go and certainly we would love to have him back whenever he’s capable. It’s hard to look back and regret that move at the time knowing what we know and where we were all at.”
Now, let’s take a closer look at the official injury report from Friday.
The Lions got a bit of a scare when AJ Parker and Jerry Jacobs missed practice on Thursday, but both returned to the practice field on Friday, opening the door for each to play on Sunday. All other players have been practicing in some capacity this week.
- RB D’Andre Swift (groin)
- RB Jamaal Williams (thigh)
- EDGE Trey Flowers (knee)
- CB Jerry Jacobs (illness)
- CB AJ Parker (neck)
Swift has been limited all week in practice, as has been his routine most of the season, and he is expected to be ready to contribute in his usual fashion.
“No, I’m fine,” Swift said to the media on Thursday. “I’m just getting to Sunday and working my way back, getting ready for the game. I’m fine.”
Williams’ thigh injury “kind of popped up last week”, per Campbell, “but he finished the game for us and did really well.” His status for this week’s game will come down to if he feels he can endure the punishment that comes with the position. If he can’t play, look for rookie Jermar Jefferson to be active in the running back rotation.
Like Swift, this is a standard week for Flowers, and he is expected to start and contribute on his normal schedule.
Jacobs was back at practice today and Campbell noted that “he just had an illness, so he’s good.” He is expected to start and hold down a key role, whether it’s on the outside where he has been playing, or in the slot, replacing Parker if he can’t go.
Speaking of Parker, he was able to get in a limited practice on Friday, which is an encouraging step to him playing against the Eagles. He has started every game at nickel corner for the Lions this season, but if he needs to be replaced, the Lions will have some decisions to make. They could simply elevate Nickell Robey-Coleman from the practice squad to play nickel, or they could shift Jacobs inside, then replace his spot with Bobby Price or undrafted rookie Mark Gilbert. This could come down to a game-time decision.
Not listed with an injury designation
- TE T.J. Hockenson (knee/ankle)
- FB Jason Cabinda (hip)
For the first time in a month, Hockenson will enter a game without an injury designation. Despite nursing two separate injuries, Hockenson is in the clear and will contribute unrestricted.
Cabinda was a full participant all week, and even if he is not part of the offensive game plan, he should give the Lions’ special teams a boost.