The Detroit Lions are on their regular-season schedule now and have released their first injury report of the 2021 season on Wednesday. POD’s Jeremy Reisman was in Allen Park today and he noted that “All 53 players (were) accounted for at Lions practice” which is a positive way to start the year.
While everyone was present, not everyone was able to participate at full strength. Per the injury report, the Lions had five players designated with a limited practice and another two, who participated in full, but are dealing with injuries.
Let’s take a closer look.
Limited practice on Wednesday
LT Taylor Decker (Finger) — Limited Practice
DL Michael Brockers (Shoulder) — Limited Practice
DL Nick Williams (Elbow) — Limited Practice
DL Levi Onwuzurike (Hip) — Limited Practice
NB A.J. Parker (Shoulder) — Limited Practice
Brockers missed most of camp with what coaches brushed off as veteran rest, but two weeks ago it was revealed that he was indeed injured—which turns out to be a shoulder injury—and coach Dan Campbell was hopeful that Brockers would be ready by Week 1.
Brockers acknowledged he would need this time to acclimate back to playing shape and Campbell noted that the process was moving at a “snail's pace”, but also that the Lions felt comfortable with his progress.
“I know this, if you said we had to play right now, he’d go play,” Campbell said in August. “Yet if we thought we could go get him to that almost 100 percent range by holding him a little bit more, is it worth it? Well, knowing that we have a long season and he’s played a lot of football, I just tend to be a little more conservative with him, that’s all.”
Campbell updated Brockers’ status on Tuesday on local radio 97.1 and said that he and D’Andre Swift, “Should be ready to go” on Sunday.
Williams and Onwuzurike also being limited is mildly concerning for the depth on the defensive line, but limited isn’t always a bad omen, and seeing how they progress throughout the week will help us better understand where they’re at come Sunday.
Decker and Parker didn’t show signs of injury during training camp, so these injuries appear to be recent, and at this time, it’s unclear how significant they are. Like with the defensive linemen, it’s worth monitoring the coming day, but nothing to get too worried about at this stage.
Full practice on Wednesday
TE T.J. Hockenson (Shoulder) — Full Practice
RB D’Andre Swift (Groin) — Full Practice
Hockenson and Swift have both been nursing injuries for the last few weeks of camp but each had been ramping up their participation levels. Unfortunately, we are at the stage of the regular season that the media are only allowed to watch warmups, so we don’t fully know how much they’re doing at practice—though full participation designation is a tremendous sign both will likely be ready to play this weekend.