The Detroit Lions have released their Thursday practice report and they were able to return two starting offensive skill players to practice—D’Andre Swift and Brock Wright—but unfortunately had to downgrade another—Josh Reynolds.
21-day evaluation clock
- FB Jason Cabinda (ankle, PUP) — Day 2
Cabinda officially started his 21-day evaluation clock on Wednesday and got in another practice on Thursday. Coach Dan Campbell hinted that if things progressed fast enough, Cabinda could find the field sooner than later.
No practice on Thursday
- WR Josh Reynolds (back) — Downgrade from limited on Wednesday
- RT Penei Sewell (personal)
- OT Matt Nelson (calf)
- NB AJ Parker (hip)
- NB Chase Lucas (ankle)
- S Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle)
Reynolds being downgraded from a limited practice on Wednesday to no practice on Thursday likely indicates one of two things. Either he was injured in practice on Wednesday, which is not a good sign, as mid-week injuries often result in the player not playing. Or he suffered a setback on Wednesday and required extra rest, which is also not ideal for his chances of playing. Now, there is a chance, this was a pre-planned rest day—the Lions did this with Reynolds earlier in the season—but, even then, the chances of him being full strength come Sunday are subdued.
Sewell is believed to be absent as he and his girlfriend welcome their first child.
Nelson is slowly headed toward his fourth game missed unless he can find the practice field on Friday—which seems like a long shot at this point.
Parker, Lucas, and Melifonwu missed their second practice in a row this week thinning out a secondary that was already struggling. If Parker can’t return, the Lions would be looking for their third starting nickel corner this season. Odds are they would either turn back to Mike Hughes (who started the season in the role) or shift Will Harris inside, as he does have experience working in the slot and even saw some snaps there last week.
- RB D’Andre Swift (ankle, shoulder) — Upgraded from no practice Wednesday
- TE Brock Wright (concussion) — Upgraded, Wearing a red non-contact jersey
- EDGE Charles Harris (groin)
- LT Taylor Decker (groin) — New injury
Swift practiced in full last week, and with a return to the practice field on Thursday, it appears Wednesday was just a rest/recovery day. The Packers sport one of the worst run defenses in the NFL (DVOA: 31st against the run, one spot worse than the Lions), and this is the ideal game to get Swift more involved in the game plan.
Wright is progressing through the league's concussion protocols and was wearing a red non-contact jersey on Thursday, which is the same step Amon-Ra St. Brown took last week when moving through the process. Expect him to be limited and wearing a red jersey again on Friday and listed as questionable, with the expectation that he will play on Sunday, barring an unforeseen setback.
Harris has not practiced or played in the last three weeks but now had stacked back-to-back practices. If he is healthy enough to play, it’s likely he will return in a reserve role as he re-acclimates and the team continues to start their rookie edge defenders.
“It’s going to be great having Chuck back, because he’s so dynamic,” Aidan Hutchinson said on Thursday. “Man, it’ll be great. We’re just going to continue to get more pass rushers back and it’s good.”
Mid-week injuries are never good, so there should be moderate concern about Decker’s new back injury. Hopefully, we’ll get a positive update on Friday, especially with Detroit short-handed at tackle with Sewell handling his personal issue, and backup Nelson still injured.
UPDATE: The Lions incorrectly listed Decker’s injury as a back injury when the report was released. It is now being labeled a groin injury.
- S DeShon Elliott (finger)
- CB Mike Hughes (knee)
- C Frank Ragnow (foot) — Upgrade from limited
- LB Derrick Barnes (knee) — Upgrade from limited
The Lions need as many of their players in the secondary as they can get, so returning a starter (Elliott) and possible starter (Hughes) would go a long way toward getting them headed in the right direction.
Ragnow has been nursing a foot injury all season. An upgrade to full practice is a good sign he’s less inhibited by the injury.
After popping up on the injury report for the first time Wednesday, Barnes was back to a full practice, suggesting his availability this week is not in question
Packers injury report
Here’s a look at the Packers’ Thursday injury report: