The Detroit Lions could have one of their best players back from injury this week against the New England Patriots on Sunday. Second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is expected to return to practice Friday after missing last week with an ankle injury suffered against the Vikings.
“Saint is going to give it a go today,” coach Dan Campbell said in his Friday morning press conference.
St. Brown has been the centerpiece of the Lions offense since he started hitting his stride toward the end of his rookie season. Going back to Week 13 of last season, St. Brown has played in nine games, pulling in 74 catches for 813 yards, and eight receiving touchdowns. He’s also been a key part of the run game, adding 129 rush yards and a touchdown while also serving as a key blocker in their scheme.
“Anytime you can get a player like him back, it helps from production but also just what he brings,” Campbell said. “He’s a spark plug. He’s a leader. He’s a hard-hat guy. He’s going to bring his lunch pail and go to work. Just to have him in any capacity would be very helpful.”
If St. Brown can’t go on Sunday, the Lions will likely turn to a combination of Kalif Raymond and Tom Kennedy. Earlier in the week, the Lions signed Kennedy to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Against the Seahawks in Week 4, Kennedy caught three passes for 54 yards.
The outlook wasn’t as positive for running back D’Andre Swift and edge defender Charles Harris. Per Campbell, Swift will miss practice on Friday and seems unlikely to play. Harris, who suffered a groin injury during Thursday’s practice, is more uncertain. The Lions will see how he responds to some action on Friday.
“We’ll see what he looks like,” Campbell said. “We’re doing some stuff to warm him up. He just had a little bit of a groin there. He’s another guy we won’t know until after today exactly where he’s at.”