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Detroit Lions Week 5 injury report: 5 offensive starters return to practice Thursday

Half of the Detroit Lions that missed Wednesday’s practice were able to return to action on Thursday.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have released their Thursday injury report and half the players who missed Wednesday’s practice returned to action, including DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, T.J. Hockenson, Frank Ragnow, and Evan Brown. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news, as reserve tackle Matt Nelson was downgraded to no practice.

Reserve: 21-day evaluation window

  • EDGE Josh Paschal (sports hernia, PUP): Day 2
  • CB Jerry Jacobs (ACL, PUP): Day 2

No practice

  • RB D’Andre Swift (ankle, shoulder)
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle)
  • WR Quintez Cephus (foot)
  • OT Matt Nelson (calf) — downgraded after a limited practice on Wednesday
  • DL John Cominsky (wrist)
  • LB Chris Board (knee)

Swift seemed unlikely to play this week, and a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler seems to back that belief up, as he suggests that the “plan is still for him to return after the bye (Week 7), barring (an) unforeseen development.”

St. Brown doubled down on his “day-to-day” stance that he previously took, but a second missed practice this week—now five in a row—is not ideal for his chances of playing against the Patriots. He will have one more day to try and get back.

Cephus’ injury appears to be a problem for him this week, and based on what we know, early indications are that he will miss this week.

Nelson was downgraded after a limited practice on Wednesday, which raises some concerns for the Lions' sixth offensive lineman. With the team’s other injured offensive linemen getting healthier, they appear capable of compensating if he is unable to play, but it would be a bit of a downgrade as he has been a positive factor in the Lions rushing attack.

Cominsky is working with trainers but a return this week seems premature.

Board did not appear to aggravate his knee during last week’s game but a second missed practice is concerning for the player that Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick said might be the best special teams player they see all season.

Limited practice

  • WR DJ Chark (ankle) - upgraded after no practice on Wednesday
  • WR Josh Reynolds (ankle) - upgraded after no practice on Wednesday
  • TE T.J. Hockenson (hip) - upgraded after no practice on Wednesday
  • C Frank Ragnow (foot) - upgraded after no practice on Wednesday
  • RG Evan Brown (ankle) - upgraded after no practice on Wednesday
  • EDGE Charles Harris (groin) — new injury
  • LG Jonah Jackson (finger)
  • G Kayode Awosika (hamstring)
  • K Austin Seibert (right groin)

So far this season, when a player has been upgraded from no practice on Wednesday to limited on Thursday they have been able to play on Sunday. The Lions will surely be hoping this trend continues for the five starting offensive players who were upgraded for today’s practice.

As starting receivers, Chark and Reynolds are important factors in the Lions offense. With St. Brown and Cephus’ statuses in doubt, the only healthy receivers on the active roster are Kalif Raymond and the recently signed Tom Kennedy.

It’s worth pointing out that last week, Chark was limited on Wednesday, didn’t practice on Thursday, was limited again on Friday, then listed as questionable, and finally downgraded to out on Saturday.

On a positive note, Chark told the Free Press Dave Birkett that he is feeling significantly better and is optimistic about playing this week.

“I know my ankle is structurally sound so that’s the thing that keeps me from worrying too much,” Chark told Birkett. “The emotions that come over is I just want to be out there with my team, so as soon as possible I’ll be out there and it’s looking pretty positive. I’ve been feeling pretty good, been in a better mood, just ready to go out there and play with my guys.”

Hockenson had a monster game last week and will likely be a big factor this week as well, so Wednesday could have just been a needed rest day to get ready for another high workload.

All three of the Lions starting interior offensive line and their left tackle are now practicing which is a positive sign. Jackson remains the biggest mystery, as he has not played since Week 2, but could end up giving the Lions a big boost if able to return. Awosika also getting in practices is helpful from a depth perspective, after he was the player called upon to step up when Brown was injured last game.

Harris popped up on the injury report on Thursday with a groin injury. Mid-week injuries are potentially dangerous because it’s possible he injured himself during practice, which could potentially put his status for Sunday in doubt if he is not able to recover quickly enough.

Seibert seems on track to play, and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp believes he is on the right track, but he also said the same thing last week, so...

“We really did get some good information back on Seibert this time a week ago, and I thought there was a chance that he was going to go into the game and play based on the information we got back,” Fipp told the media on Thursday. “It didn’t work out. He did practice yesterday, so I feel better about that. He’s feeling better.”

If Seibert can’t go, the Lions would likely turn to newly signed practice squad kicker, Michael Badgley, who has 48 games of NFL experience.

“We’ve got one game here and then we get a bye,” Fipp continued. “So our thought was kinda, ‘Who can we get in here that can help us for one game, at least, and help us get through this thing if Seibert can’t go.’”

Full practice

  • LT Taylor Decker (knee) — upgraded from limited to full

Decker being upgraded to full is a good sign that he will be good to go on Sunday.

Patriots injury report

Here’s a look at the Patriots’ Thursday injury report:

Of note, regarding the Patriots' quarterback situation:


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