The Detroit Lions announced on Saturday afternoon that they have activated defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand from injured reserve, paving the way for him to make his 2021 debut on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Hand suffered a groin injury in training camp and while it appeared to be minor at first, it clearly lingered for two months before he could return to the practice field. On Friday, head coach Dan Campbell hinted at Hand’s return this week.
“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,’” Campbell said. “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.”
Hand, the Lions' 2018 third-round pick, has struggled with injuries his entire career but has shown promise when in the game. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in the Lions’ rotation on the defensive line, with Nick Williams and rookie Levi Onwuzurike garnering most of the snaps at Hand’s position.
Additionally, the Lions have elevated safety Jalen Elliott and tight end Brock Wright from the practice squad to the active roster for this Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Both players were also elevated in Week 7, meaning neither will be eligible to be elevated again this season. If the Lions want to utilize either in an upcoming game for the remainder of the season, they will need to sign them to the active roster.
Both players played key roles on special teams against the Rams and Wright, who showed improved development in his blocking, was on the field in key offensive moments.
The Lions also made a small change to their practice squad, releasing former Spartans cornerback Shakur Brown and re-signing defensive lineman Eric Banks, who was released earlier in the week—presumably to make room for Hand.
The Lions roster now sits at 52-players on the active roster, one short of the maximum.