The Detroit Lions were back in Allen Park on Wednesday as they prepare for their upcoming Week 15 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field. The Lions are still sorting through a mess of a roster, as new injuries are popping up, starting corner Jerry Jacobs was placed on injured reserve, and players are moving on and off the reserve/COVID-19 list.
It’s a long list, so let’s jump right in by taking a look at the Lions’ official injury report for Wednesday, noting that the new injuries, changes in status, and new reserve/COVID-19 additions are bolded.
- RB Jamaal Williams
- LB Tavante Beckett
- CB Bobby Price
- CB Ifeatu Melifonwu
- CB Mark Gilbert
- NB Corey Ballentine - added on Tuesday
- NB Robey-Coleman - added on Monday
- S Tracy Walker
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions are one of seven teams in “enhanced COVID protocols” this week as they try to get control over the spread through the roster. The Lions practice facility in Allen Park remains open, but everyone, even vaccinated players, are required to more testing and mask protocols.
At his Wednesday press conference, coach Dan Campbell mentioned that the Lions actually started some of these protocols last week when the team was also dealing with a flu virus (which, thankfully, is no longer an issue). Procedures like holding meetings in “the bubble” (the indoor practice field), maintaining social distancing, grab-and-go food, as well as masking up are all measures designed to help them get a handle on the spread.
Of note: Center Evan Brown has been removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list, began practicing on Wednesday, and is expected to play on Sunday, per Campbell.
- DL Jashon Cornell (non-football illness) Day 8 of 21 day evaluation period
- NB AJ Parker (ankle) Day 1 of 21 day evaluation period
Cornell began practicing last week but was not activated for the game. He will continue practicing this week and has 14 more evaluation days remaining before the Lions need to make a decision on his status.
Parker was back on the practice field on Wednesday and is expected to be activated off injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game and will most likely return to his starting nickel role. That move would allow Will Harris to return to safety.
- RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder)
- TE T.J. Hockenson (hand)
- LG Jonah Jackson (back)
- OT Will Holden (not injury related)
- EDGE Julian Okwara (ankle)
- LB Alex Anzalone (ankle) - injured in Denver last Sunday
- S Jalen Elliott (not injury related)
Swift and Hockenson are important cogs in the Lions' offense, but when listening to Campbell talk about them at his press conference, he didn’t sound too optimistic that they would get much work in this week, which puts their status for Sunday in question.
“I don’t think either one of them is going to practice today,” Campbell said, “but, yet, they’ll move around. We will see where it goes. If we feel like we can get them back by Friday or something, certainly we’d love to have them. Right now, it’s still pretty early.”
An injury update from Coach Campbell on Swift and Hockenson. pic.twitter.com/lezeCmGgVU— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 15, 2021
Jackson is dealing with a back injury. The second-year left guard played every snap in Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, so it’s unclear if this is more of a relaxed day off or something that flared up after the game and could threaten his ability to play this week.
Okwara missed last week’s game and not practicing on Wednesday is not a good sign for his progress.
Anzalone injured his ankle in last weekend’s game and was unable to return. His absence was immediately felt, as the team was forced to turn to rookie Derrick Barnes and Josh Woods as replacements.
- RT Penei Sewell (shoulder)
- DL Michael Brockers (knee)
- EDGE Austin Bryant (shoulder)
- LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder) — practicing in a red non-contact jersey
- LB Derrick Barnes (knee)
Sewell has played through his shoulder injury for the past few weeks. On Wednesday, he was asked about why he’s played through it when he’s clearly in a lot of pain.
“I’m the only one that truly knows what I’m capable of doing, and what I’m capable of pushing through,” Sewell said. “It’s as simple as that, and I chose and made the decision to do it so (we) ran with it.”
When asked about how his shoulder is right now, Sewell replied, “It’s all cool.”
Brockers has also played through his knee injury each of the last few weeks, and another limited practice appears to be a precautionary measure.
Bryant was limited all last week and though he was active, he only played a handful of snaps and had a very scaled-back workload. Getting some work in is a positive sign, but this is more of a wait-and-see situation.
Reeves-Maybin has missed the last two games and has been unable to practice during those weeks. He took a step in the right direction on Wednesday, one the team could definitely use with Anzalone and Barnes banged up.
Barnes did not appear to be injured last game, so this could have been something that popped up after. Limited is a good start, but this is worth monitoring.
No longer listed on the injury report
- QB Jared Goff (illness)
- RB Jermar Jefferson (illness)
- LG Jonah Jackson (illness)
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (illness)
- OL Matt Nelson (ankle)
- DL Nick Williams (illness)
- NT Alim McNeill (illness)
- DL Levi Onwuzurike (illness)
- NT John Penisini (illness)
- EDGE Charles Harris (illness)
- K Riley Patterson (illness)
The flu is gone.