The Detroit Lions were back on the field on Tuesday as they prepare for a Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Buffalo Bills in Week 12. On a short week, the Lions are focusing on mental preparation and will only hold walkthrough practices ahead of the game.
Note: Walk-through practices are estimated levels of participation and are based on Lions coaches’ best guesses.
21-day evaluation clock
- WR Jameson Williams (ACL, NFI): Day 2 (latest update)
- EDGE Romeo Okwara (Achilles, PUP): Day 7 (latest update)
Coach Dan Campbell said the Lions decided to start Williams’ clock this week to get him involved and around his teammates, in order to see where he is at. He would go on to say that how quickly he returns to game action will be determined by how quickly he re-acclimates to football activities.
“There’ll be a learning curve as it is with all those guys,” Campbell continued, discussing reserve/injured players returning to game action. “But anything we ask them to do is going to be things that we feel like he does well, and he can help us with that are also – that’ll set him up to have success as well.”
When asked specifically about what Williams can bring to the table being so late to football activities, Campbell pointed to his ability to run fast as an unteachable asset.
“You either got it or you don’t, and he’s got it. So, in that regard, he can help,” Campbell explained.
At his Tuesday afternoon press conference, Campbell noted that Okwara was “unlikely” to return for this Thursday’s game, then jokingly said unless they were desperate for players. In all seriousness, Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars seems much more realistic.
No practice on Tuesday
- LG Jonah Jackson (concussion) — NEW injury
- RG Evan Brown (ankle)
- EDGE Josh Paschal (knee)
- EDGE Charles Harris (groin)
- CB Jeff Okudah (concussion) — not expected to play
Jackson was a late addition to the injury report on Monday and was listed with an illness, but on today’s report, that “illness” was relabeled as a “concussion”. With a late identification here, he will not be able to clear the league’s concussion protocols and will assuredly be ruled out of this week’s game.
It’s a similar story with Okudah, who suffered a concussion on Sunday and is not expected to play this week because he will not be able to clear protocols.
Brown is being monitored by the Lions but it’s not an ideal situation trying to recover from an in-game injury on a short week.
With Jackson and Brown both looking like they may not play this week, the Lions will likely have to replace both their starting guards against one of the best interior defensive front in the NFL. Dan Skipper seems likely to take one of the spots, but if/when they need another, it’s not clear if it will be Logan Stenberg or Kayode Awosika.
“Evan – there again, it’s too close to tell with him,” coach Dan Campbell said on Monday. “It’s going to be tough on the injury deal this week trying to figure out who will be ready, who won’t.”
Paschal missed last week’s game and was replaced by John Cominsky in the starting lineup. Even if Paschal is able to turn things around and play, Cominsky will likely be the player the Lions lean on this week at closed end.
Harris’ absence opened the door for Austin Bryant to return into the starting lineup last week, which will likely be the plan unless Harris get better quick.
- WR DJ Chark (ankle)
- WR Josh Reynolds (back) —upgraded
- C Frank Ragnow (foot) — upgraded
Expect the Lions to continue to take it slow with Chark this week, but his workload is expected to increase as he re-acclimates to everyday football.
“Good,” Campbell said on how Chark was feeling after last Sunday’s return to limited action. “I think it was really good for him. He had 11 snaps, but to get his legs back under him, get in there and move around a little bit. I know he came out of the game feeling pretty good. So, we think, certainly, he will be able to take a bigger load this week, which is good.”
Reynolds returned to practice once last week (Thursday) then reverted back to out for the game, so while an estimated return to the practice field is encouraging, noting is certain here.
Ragnow is going to get a bunch of rest most weeks as the Lions try and manage his ankle for the long-term.
- RB D’Andre Swift (ankle, shoulder)
- LB Malcolm Rodriguez (elbow)
Estimated full practices on back-to-back days for Swift and Rodriguez is an encouraging sign for the starting pair who were limited last week.
Bills injury report
Here’s a look at the Bills’ Tuesday injury report, which has no major changes from yesterday: