The Detroit Lions have declared their inactives ahead of their Week 8 matchup with the Miami Dolphins and the offense is a whole lot healthier as all seven injured starters will play, including running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
“Those two guys (Swift and St. Brown) can account for a lot of offense,” coach Dan Campbell said on Friday. “A lot of production in our offense. So, having both of them back is a big jolt. And look, I would say this too, (Josh) Reynolds was out there practicing yesterday which was good. And he’s going to get another day’s work and that’s really the first time in two or three weeks we’ve had him in practice per se. He’s really been walkthrough, and then he’s gone into play. So, I know at this point this is the best he’s felt in a while. So, that helps. Those three players, to have them certainly is going to help more than it hurts I can tell you that.”
The Lions made a few roster moves this week, releasing wide receiver Maurice Alexander and defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor, and replacing them with safety C.J. Moore and kicker Michael Badgley. Both Alexander and Taylor would be re-signed to the Lions practice squad, and Alexander, along with wide receiver Stanley Berryhill, were elevated to the game-day roster, bringing the game-day roster up to 55 players.
Because the Lions have eight offensive linemen active for Sunday’s game, they are eligible to expand their game-day roster from 46 to 48 players. Therefore, with 55 players on the active roster and 48 eligible to play, the Lions need to declare seven inactive for today’s matchup.
- OT Matt Nelson (calf) — ruled OUT on Friday
- EDGE Charles Harris (groin) — ruled OUT on Friday
- CB Mike Hughes (knee) — ruled OUT on Friday
- NB Chase Lucas (ankle) — ruled OUT on Friday
- S DeShon Elliott (finger) — ruled OUT on Friday
- S Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle) — ruled OUT on Friday
- DL Michael Brockers
Nelson has missed his third game in a row and the Lions six offensive linemen sets have not been the same without him. Last week, Detroit tried Dan Skipper in the role and the results were underwhelming. It’ll be interesting to see if another reserve lineman gets a shot, or if they move away from the sets altogether in this game.
Harris has also missed three games in a row, and last week—with the return of Josh Paschal and John Cominsky—we saw the Lions shift their front around to compensate. A starting rookie pair of Paschal and Aidan Hutchinson is expected to be featured again.
Elliott’s absence may be the biggest impact on all the inactives this week. He is expected to be replaced by JuJu Hughes, who started the season as the Lions' fourth option at safety. Recently re-signed C.J. Moore is expected to be the primary backup. but safety-turned-corner Will Harris could be called upon if needed.
Hughes, Lucas, and Melifonwu missing this game further thins out their secondary, and with no defensive backs on the practice squad to elevate, the Lions turned to Alexander and Berryhill for special teams depth. Good news, Lucas is out of his walking boot and avoided being placed on injured reserve this weekend, so he may be able to return sooner than originally thought.
This is the second week in a row Brockers is a healthy scratch, despite the team only having three interior defensive linemen. His spot on the roster has seemingly been reduced to a leadership role.
- WR River Cracraft (neck) — ruled OUT on Friday
- WR Erik Ezukanma
- QB Skylar Thompson
- S Eric Rowe
- RB Myles Gaskin