The Detroit Lions have released their injury designations for their Week 9 home matchup with the Green Bay Packers and they have ruled out four players, including starting nickel AJ Parker. Additionally, they listed starting wide receiver Josh Reynolds as doubtful, but they seem optimistic that starters D’Andre Swift, Brock Wright, Taylor Decker, and Charles Harris will play despite questionable designations.
21-day evaluation clock
- FB Jason Cabinda (ankle, PUP) — Day 3
If Cabinda was to be activated from PUP to the active roster, it would happen on Saturday. If it doesn’t, he will return to practice next week and continue his evaluation process.
- OT Matt Nelson (calf)
- NB AJ Parker (hip)
- NB Chase Lucas (ankle)
- S Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle)
Nelson will now miss his fourth straight game, and with him on the shelf, a portion of the playbook—sixth offensive lineman sets—remains with him.
Parker was signed to the active roster and immediately inserted into the starting lineup, he was injured in last week’s game, tried returning to the field, but was quickly pulled and ruled out. Since then he has not been able to practice and the Lions nickel corner job is up for grabs.
Lucas could have been one of those competing for the job, but his ankle injury will keep him out for the second straight week. He is not expected to land on injured reserve and could be back at practice soon.
Melifonwu, like Nelson, has missed four games in a row. Unlike Nelson, Melifonwu has been injured so frequently this offseason/season that he has never been able to establish himself in any role. For now, he likely isn’t considered more than the Lions fifth option at safety.
- WR Josh Reynolds (back)
Reynolds injured his back at practice on Wednesday, and even though he has not been able to practice since, he is still holding out hope that he will pass the doctor's tests on Saturday and be able to play on Sunday.
#Lions WR Josh Reynolds says he’s “hopeful” to play on Sunday. His back locked up during practice earlier in the week. “We’ve still got another day before I’ve got to make that decision”he said. “So, I’m hopeful. I’m a tough SOB. I don’t let too much stuff hold me back.”— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) November 4, 2022
If Reynolds is downgraded on Saturday or ruled out as a game-time decision on Sunday, he will likely be replaced by Tom Kennedy in the starting lineup.
- RB D’Andre Swift (ankle, shoulder)
- TE Brock Wright (concussion) — No longer in red no-contact jersey
- LT Taylor Decker (groin)
- EDGE Charles Harris (groin)
Swift got in a full set of practices last week but was clearly limited in the game. This week, the Lions took a different approach, giving him Wednesday off and limiting him on Thursday and Friday. According to coaches, he is improving each week and they hope to continue to increase his workload.
“We expect more (of a workload for Swift), it’s a process man,” running backs coach/assistant head coach Duce Staley said on Friday. “You look back to last week, of course, getting out there, getting going, getting back, feeling good. Trying to get some routes under his belt. Trying to get some of those runs under his belt. And he’s trending in the right way. So, once again we’ll continue to add on to it and move forward.”
Wright missed practice on Wednesday, was limited and in a no-contact red jersey on Thursday, and then back in full without the red jersey on Friday. The Lions have said all week that they expect him to be cleared ahead of this Sunday’s game and he appears to be on track for that.
Decker was a surprise addition to the injury report on Thursday, but he was able to get in a limited practice on Friday coach Dan Campbell said they’re expecting him to be available on Sunday:
“I think we’ll be good to go there.”
Harris has not played in the last three games and while he is expected to return to action this week, it sure sounds like coaches expect him to be limited.
“He got pretty good work yesterday,” Campbell said of Harris. “Woke up and there didn’t seem to be a setback, so we’ll get through practice today and just kind of gauge where he’s at too, but certainly no setbacks.”
Look for the Lions to continue to start their rookie edge rushers, Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal, and deploy Harris in a situational role as he reacclimates from injury.
Not listed with an injury designation
- RT Penei Sewell (personal)
- C Frank Ragnow (foot)
- LB Derrick Barnes (knee)
- S DeShon Elliott (finger)
- CB Mike Hughes (knee)
Sewell’s absence on Wednesday and Thursday was indeed due to him welcoming the birth of his child. He returned to practice on Friday and will be good to go on Sunday.
Ragnow was limited on Wednesday, then returned to full practices on Thursday and Friday, and does not carry a designation into this weekend’s game. With the Lions rushing attack a significant key to victory, having Ragnow available is a massive advantage.
Barnes followed the same practice pattern as Ragnow, only being limited on Wednesday. Even though it’s a new injury, it doesn’t appear to be a problem.
Elliott and Hughes missed last week's game but got in full practices this week and should be able to give a nice boost to the Lions secondary. Elliott will surely return to his starting safety role, while Hughes could also be back in a starting role at nickel with Parker unable to play.
“It is good to get Elliott and Hughes back,” Campbell said. “Those guys look pretty healthy, and they’ve had a pretty good week of practice, so it’ll be good to get them back and get them worked in as well.”
Packers injury designations
Here’s a look at the Packers’ injury designations for Week 9: