The Detroit Lions have declared their injury designations ahead of their Week 2 matchup with the Green Bay Packers on “Monday Night Football”. As expected, the Lions will be without two players, and while a few players saw improved health, another starter was added to the report and is listed as questionable.
Note: Changes from previous reports this week will be bolded.
- WR Tyrell Williams (concussion)
- DL Kevin Strong (concussion)
After suffering concussions in Week 1, Tyrell Williams and Kevin Strong have not been able to practice this week and coach Dan Campbell declared them out at his morning press conference. Per the league’s five-step concussion protocol rules, both will need to pass through two practices next week (one with and on without contact), then receive clearance from an outside doctor before they can be cleared to return.
It’s worth noting that when Williams left the game last week it was Benson who took his play among the starters.
“I think it was a learning experience for him,” Campbell said of Benson getting playing time, “but it kind of got him acclimated to our offense and he’s been – I feel like he’s a step ahead of where he was a week ago. You can see it in practice, details, just mentally him getting these plays and the terminology. So, I feel pretty good about him going into this one.”
Expect Trinity Benson or Quintez Cephus to get the start in place of Williams—Tom Kennedy figures to also be active this week—with both seeing increased playing time.
“Trinity’s got a little bit of juice to him,” Campbell continued. “He can run pretty good, he’s got some twitch, I like his route tree, he’s pretty good with multiple routes. And then Cephus plays a little bit stronger. Now, there are little fundamental things that he’s got to get better at, but I know this, he can play a little bit of bully ball and he can go after it with it being up in the air—he kind of brings that different element to us, which we like. So, I think they’re two totally different types of receivers, but I think you need both types of receivers.”
- RB D’Andre Swift (Groin)
- WR Kalif Raymond (Thigh) — Added to the report after a limited practice on Saturday
- EDGE Trey Flowers (Shoulder)
- DL Michael Brockers (Shoulder)
On Friday, Lions running back coach/assistant head coach Duce Staley told the media that there is “no concern” over the health of Swift or Williams, indicating they’re anticipating both to be available on Monday.
On Saturday, Campbell made a similar declaration about edge rushers Flowers and Romeo Okwara saying, “No, they’ll be great. They’re trending very much the right way and had a good week of practice. Great week of practice.”
It’s never a good sign to see a player added to the injury report late in the week, so Raymond showing up on Saturday is mildly concerning. Getting the questionable label isn’t the worst news, but his situation is worth monitoring. The Lions will likely re-evaluate him ahead of traveling to Green Bay, and possibly again during pre-game warmups.
No injury designation for Week 2
- RB Jamaal Williams (Chest) — upgraded to a full practice on Saturday
- EDGE Romeo Okwara (Shoulder) — upgraded to a full practice on Saturday
- DL Levi Onwuzurike (hip)
Williams and Okwara being upgraded is great news for their availability.
With Strong ruled out, Onwuzurike should step into the top reserve defensive line role, which accounted for 44 percent of defensive snaps last week.
“You know, obviously we do feel he is trending in the right direction,” defensive line coach Todd Wash said of Onwuzurike. “He’s put a lot of work in with our strength staff and our medical staff to get himself in this position. But the biggest thing we’re looking for is for him to play hard. That’s one thing we talk about with our rookies. That’s the only thing they can totally control is their effort. So we want to see tremendous effort out of him, and just the physical play we think he’s going to bring. I look forward to really seeing him against good competition and I think he’ll play well.”