COVID-19 continues to impact the Lions roster and it’s unclear if any of the four starters on the list will be able to clear the league’s protocols ahead of this week’s contest. It’s really just a waiting game to see if any of the players can test out.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the Lions’ official injury report for Thursday, noting that the new injuries, changes in status, and new reserve/COVID-19 additions are bolded.
- WR Josh Reynolds — added on December 27
- WR Kalif Raymond — added on December 30
- TE Brock Wright — added on December 28
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai — added December 29
- DL Michael Brockers — added December 29
- QB Steven Montez (practice squad) — added on December 27
- WR Geronimo Allison (practice squad) — added December 29
No changes to the list as of Thursday afternoon, which is encouraging and disappointing all at the same time.
UPDATE: Raymond was added to the list after the original publishing of this article. If he is vaccinated, he could have a chance to play on Sunday if he tests negative and meets certain protocol requirements. If he is not vaccinated or continues to test positive, he will miss this weekend’s game, as he will be required to sit out for five days.
- QB Jared Goff (knee)
- FB Jason Cabinda (knee)
- CB Saivion Smith (illness)
Goff misses another practice and it is suddenly looking like backup quarterback Tim Boyle may get his third start of the season. Boyle only managed to lead the Lions to 16 offensive points in each of his previous two starts, but they may need more out of him this week, if he starts vs. Seattle.
Cabinda’s not expected to play this week, but he is such a pivotal player in the Lions' running game, they’re still holding out hope. With Wright on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Cabinda ailing the Lions are hoping they can get some work out of their newly signed tight ends.
“We brought in (Ross) Travis, we brought Jared Pickney back—he was here before—and those young men are going to have to play,” offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said on Thursday. “They’ve played in the league before. Right now, their head is spinning, but hopefully by Sunday things will slow down for them a little bit. But they’re going to have to play and help us win.”
Smith has a non-COVID-19 illness (if it was COVID he would be on the reserve/COVID-19 list) and hopefully it will run its course ahead of Sunday. Smith has been a solid special teams contributor since he was claimed two weeks ago.
- LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder)
- LB Curtis Bolton (back)
Reeves-Maybin has played through a shoulder injury the last two weeks, but he hasn't let it limit him, and he has been trending up at an impressive pace.
“Man, that guy is a football player,” defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said of Reeves-Maybin on Thursday. “The thing is he loves football and you clearly see that when he’s on the field. Anytime you have a player of that magnitude, you can’t help but just put him on the field. You can't help but just play him. And, I know he was regulated to special teams years before, but he’s shown he can be a starting inside linebacker. So hopefully, he can continue to compete. We’re always going competition here. He will have his chance to be our starting inside linebacker. He’s had a great year, still has a ways to go, but we’re excited about that player.”
Bolton, who was just signed off the Lions’ practice squad this week, wasn’t on the injury report Wednesday but popped up on Thursday with a back injury. Mid-week injuries can often be problematic so this is worth keeping an eye on. Look for the Lions to elevate Tavante Beckett from the practice squad for this week's game.
- RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder)
- EDGE Julian Okwara (ankle)
A second straight full practice for Swift and Okwara is highly encouraging for their potential to return to action this week. Swift would presumably jump back into the starting rotation, while Okwara would give the defense an update at rotational depth.