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Detroit Lions Week 14 injury report: 7 players dealing with flu outbreak

The Lions are dealing with a flu bug that has specifically impacted their defensive and offensive fronts.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

After their first victory of the season, the Detroit Lions were back on the practice field on Wednesday as they prepare to travel to Colorado to take on the Denver Broncos in Week 14.

But things weren’t quite back to normal, as the team is dealing with several non-COVID related illnesses. To adjust, the Lions held two separate practices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, in an attempt to limit exposure between the offense and the defense. With the team split, both Wednesday’s practices were walkthroughs, and therefore all player participation levels are estimates, projected by the Lions’ coaching staff.

Let’s take a look at the Lions’ official injury report for Wednesday, noting that the new injuries are bolded.

No practice

  • QB Jared Goff (illness)
  • RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder)
  • G Jonah Jackson (illness)
  • RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (illness)
  • DL Michael Brockers (knee/illness)
  • NT John Penisini (illness)
  • DL Nick Williams (illness)
  • EDGE Julian Okwara (ankle)
  • LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder)

Coach Dan Campbell said at his Wednesday press conference that there was “a lot” of players out with illness, but that hopefully, they were at the tail end of the outbreak and this extra day apart could be enough to get them over the hump and back to their normal schedule. For example, quarterback Jared Goff did his weekly Wednesday press conference via Zoom, as the team is being overly cautious to try and slow the spread.

“I’m actually feeling good,” Goff said on the Zoom, via team reporter Tim Twentyman. “I was not feeling great Sunday. Sunday and Monday I wasn’t feeling great. Yesterday woke up feeling fine. Today was kind of an abundance of caution. I feel pretty good.”

It’s not clear if the rest of the players designated as ill are at the same stage as Goff in their recovery or if they will require more time, but the odds are this will linger throughout the week.

The Lions were hit particularly hard on both lines, where two starters on both the offensive and defensive line were out with an illness.

Swift continues on the path to recovery but things are still murky at the moment.

“All I can say is he’s improving,” Campbell said of Swift. “That would be the best way to put it. There again, it was a walkthrough today, so he’s improved certainly from last week and it’d be hard for me to say one way or another what it looks like right now.”

The Lions are also shorthanded at EDGE regardless of illness. With Trey Flowers already on injured reserve, it’s not good to see Julian Okwara out with an ankle injury. Hopefully, he can progress as the week rolls on.

Limited

  • OLB Austin Bryant (shoulder)
  • TE T.J. Hockenson (hand)
  • RT Penei Sewell (illness, shoulder)
  • OL Matt Nelson (ankle) - missed Week 13
  • DB Bobby Price (shoulder) — upgraded from out last week

Two new injuries to note here. Austin Bryant—another beat up edge defender—is dealing with a shoulder injury. Bryant played 54 snaps on Sunday, more than any other Lions edge defender vs. the Vikings. Hopefully, he just needs a little rest.

Additionally, T.J. Hockenson is dealing with a hand injury. There doesn’t appear to be any more available information on that injury.

Sewell popped up late on the injury report last week with a shoulder injury and Campbell admitted there was a possibility he wasn’t going to play.

“(Sewell) wasn’t 100 percent in that game,” Campbell confirmed on Wednesday, but he was able to play through the injury. The Lions will likely take it easy with him this week in practice, but if things play out like last week, he should be good to play in Denver.

No longer listed on the injury report

  • WR KhaDarel Hodge (illness)
  • WR Trinity Benson (knee) - missed Week 13
  • Jerry Jacobs (neck) - injured in Week 13, exited briefly and returned to action

Hodge was one of the first Lions’ players to become ill last week and he didn’t show any lingering effects during the game. Not being listed on the injury report this week is a good sign this flu strain can potentially pass quickly.

Benson did not play last week, but it was unclear if it was injury-related or because he wasn't playing as well as the other receivers. Not being listed here suggests it may not have been because of the injury.

Jacobs never actually appeared on the injury report, but because he briefly left the game, he was on the watchlist to start this week.