The Detroit Lions have declared their injury designations ahead of their Week 10 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers and they will be without two starters: running back Jamaal Williams and kicker Austin Seibert.
Let’s take a closer look at the official injury report from Friday.
- RB Jamaal Williams (thigh)
- K Austin Seibert (right hip)
Williams’ thigh injury kept him out of the Lions’ Week 8 game against the Eagles, but even with the extra time to heal over the bye week, he was still unable to get back on the field for practices and was only seen working off to the side with trainers.
With Williams ruled out, expect the Lions to lean heavier on D’Andre Swift and to turn back to Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike to pick up the overage. Against the Eagles, Jefferson rushed twice and scored his first NFL touchdown, while Igwebuike ran the ball three times for 18 yards.
On Thursday, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said he wasn’t “really sure” about Seibert’s ability to play this weekend and the plan was to “see how it feels today”. Unfortunately, Seibert was unable to practice on Friday and won’t be available against the Steelers.
Fipp also noted that if Seibert was unable to play, the team planned on turning to Ryan Santoso—a weekly member of the protected practice squad—for kicking duties. Santoso was elevated twice earlier in the year, when Seibert was on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and successfully kicked four extra points, as well as his one field goal attempt.
Of note, because Santoso was previously elevated for COVID purposes, those instances do not count against his standard elevations for the season. That means he still has the opportunity to be elevated twice more this season as an injury replacement. The team is expected to exercise one of those options ahead of this game, likely on Saturday, which has become standard practice.
- LT Taylor Decker (finger)
- EDGE Austin Bryant (shoulder)
Decker is listed as questionable but he participated in full at all three practices this week and has a greater than 50 percent chance to play this Sunday according to coach Dan Campbell.
“The good news is Taylor, he’s been working his tail off while he’s been getting this thing back, rehabbing,” Campbell said. “So he’s in very good shape. Now, we all know football is different, and so I think we’ll just see how it goes, but I think if anyone can do it, it’d be him.”
While things aren’t officially settled, Decker is expected to resume his starting role at left tackle, with rookie Penei Sewell shifting back to the right side.
Bryant saw limited practices all week and his status is unclear at this time. Fortunately for the Lions, they have three other capable EDGE rushers healthy for this matchup, including both starters Trey Flowers and Charles Harris, as well as pass-rush specialist Julian Okwara.
No injury designation
- CB AJ Parker (neck)
Parker practiced in will all week and with no injury designation, he is expected to resume his starting nickel corner role. Safety Will Harris was repping in the slot in Parker’s absence and is expected to return to his starting safety role.
Returned to practice, Still on IR
- QB Tim Boyle (thumb on right hand) — Day 3 of the 21-day evaluation period
- CB Ifeatu Melifonwu (thigh) — Day 3 of the 21-day evaluation period
- NB/KR Corey Balentine (hamstring) — Day 3 of the 21-day evaluation period
Nothing new to report on the players in this section, as all three continue to work at practice. None of the three are expected to be active ahead of this weekend’s game, but if they were it would likely happen on Saturday afternoon.