In Week 5, Detroit Lions defensive back Saivion Smith was elevated from the practice squad and started at safety. Just two snaps into the game, Smith fell to the turf after suffering a concussion that required an ambulance to be brought onto the field to escort him and his family to a local hospital.
While it was an incredibly scary moment on the field, it’s been relatively positive news for Smith since then, all things considered. By the time Smith arrived at the hospital, he had movement in his extremities, was eventually cleared of a neck injury, and was able to return home with the Lions following the game. Back in Detroit, more tests confirmed his neck was indeed not compromised but he remained in concussion protocol.
On Wednesday, coach Dan Campbell discussed the latest surrounding Smith’s recovery:
“Yeah, he’s doing good. Alright, he’s doing good. However, we’re getting some things looked at with him. Actually, we’re sending him to the doctor tomorrow, but we don’t see residual head effects, things of that nature. He’s clear. He’s in good spirits other than being frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play, so from that regard, he’s good. He has his feeling, all that stuff, but there’s some other things we’re looking at with him.”
The Lions didn’t wait to see what Thursday’s doctor’s visit results were and played it safe by placing him on injured reserve, thus removing the option of him playing over the next four games, or possibly more.
To fill his spot on the practice squad, the Lions signed wide receiver Stanley Berryhill. With a handful of injuries at wide receiver—Jameson Williams is on reserve/NFI, Quintez Cephus is on injured reserve, DJ Chark is still unable to practice, while Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds are nursing ankle injuries—Berryhill provides the team with depth for practices this week, and potentially beyond.
Berryhill (5-foot-10, 182 pounds) is a slot option/punt returner who makes most of his noise in yards after the catch. He isn’t afraid to go over the middle to make the tough catch and has the speed to run away from defenders. Berryhill figures to give the Lions more slot depth as they will be forced to use Kalif Raymond and Tom Kennedy outside more as Chark continues to recover.