Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell made it clear the team has no plans of shutting down starting running back D’Andre Swift, despite the playoffs being well out of reach with two weeks left to go.
“We’ll shut him down after Green Bay,” Campbell said on Wednesday, referring to the team’s final game of the season.
Swift has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury he suffered early against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. Prior to his injury, Swift was really coming into his own, rushing for 130+ yards in back-to-back games against the Steelers and Browns. And while Detroit’s running game has continued to see success with Swift sidelined, Detroit still wants to see what Swift can do.
“I think we feel like we’re in a place where—let’s go, let’s cut him loose, and let’s let him continue to grow and get better,” Campbell said. “That way we go into next year, he’s that much better for it.”
The Lions have been cautious with Swift over the past month, but after returning to practice last week, it appears his time to return is now, as the Lions prepare for one of the league’s better run defenses in the Seattle Seahawks.
“We feel like he’s going to be ready to go this week, and he’s been wanting to go,” Campbell said.
With the Lions getting Jamaal Williams back last week from reserve/COVID and Swift now expected to be in the lineup, it will be the first time the Lions have had their starting rotation in the backfield in a month. That also likely means Craig Reynolds, who has done an admirable job as a replacement in the past few weeks, will return to a reserve role.