The Detroit Lions will host the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13, their fifth division matchup of the season, and while they are still working through quite a few injuries, they were able to return their first round draft pick, Penei Sewell, back to the starting lineup.
Let’s take a look at the Lions’ official injury report for Thursday, noting that the Changes from Wednesday’s report are bolded.
- RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder) — reportedly could miss “multiple weeks”
- LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder)
- EDGE Trey Flowers (knee)
- DB Bobby Price (shoulder)
Swift missed practice again, as expected, and for the time being, he has avoided injured reserve, which is a good sign they are projecting him to return sooner rather than later.
Reeves-Maybin and Price each left last week’s game with shoulder injuries and were unable to return. Now, with both missing a second practice, their status for this Sunday is starting to look concerning. If Reeves-Maybin can’t play, rookie Derrick Brown would start in his place, while Price’s role would likely shift to rookie UDFA corner Mark Gilbert.
Flowers has now missed two games and eight consecutive practices, which is sure to rile up a large portion of the fan base. If he can’t go, Austin Bryant will likely continue to start with a healthy mix of Julian Okwara.
- RT Penei Sewell (illness) — upgraded from no practice on Wednesday
- WR KhaDarel Hodge (illness) — upgraded from no practice on Wednesday
- OL Matt Nelson (ankle)
- DL Michael Brockers (knee)
Sewell and Hodge got a day off after they were feeling under the weather—welcome to Michigan—but both were able to return to their respective roles on Thursday. This is a huge sigh of relief to get Sewell back at right tackle, because the team had turned to Will Holden (their fourth offensive tackle) to rep in his place.
The reason Holden was in the lineup on Wednesday is because top reserve and sixth offensive lineman, Nelson, is also working his way back from injury. A second limited practice in a row is encouraging, but if he can’t play this weekend, his role will shift to Holden once again.
Brockers is getting the veteran treatment and is being given a lighter load while he nurses his knee injury. He is still likely to play and start on Sunday.
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (concussion)
- WR Trinity Benson (knee) — upgraded from limited practice on Wednesday
Based on the NFL concussion protocols, Vaitai appears to be at or near the end of the process. A second full practice could indicate he only needs to be cleared by an independent doctor in order to be eligible for play on Sunday.
Benson’s injury cost him his (temporary) starting role to Josh Reynolds, but if he can get back on the field this weekend, he’ll have a chance to carve out a role on an offense begging for a play maker.