The Detroit Lions have declared their injury designations ahead of a Week 13 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars and they are by far the healthiest they have been since the beginning of the season, only needing to rule out two players.
Lions coach Dan Campbell spoke with the media on Friday about his team getting healthier and how it may benefit Detroit over the final stretch of the season:
“Yeah, I do—I want to be careful saying it, but at the same token it really is. It’s a – and I kind of (General Manager) Brad (Holmes) and I talked about it early in the year. It’s like I really feel like we’re going to take our lumps early here just with where everything’s going, but about the time that some other teams are going through what we went through early. We start getting healthy late in the season, and so it is. It’s a good place to be at right now. Hopefully it stays that way.”
21-day evaluation clock
- WR Jameson Williams (ACL, NFI): Day 12 (latest update)
- EDGE Romeo Okwara (Achilles, PUP): Day 17 (latest update)
On Friday, coach Dan Campbell said both Williams and Okwara have made nice progress this week, and while he has not made a decision on if either will play on Sunday, he still believes it’d be a longshot for either player to be ready. If it is determined that they are ready, the news would likely come on Saturday afternoon, typically around 4 p.m. ET.
If neither is activated for this game, the Lions will have to make a decision on Okwara by next Tuesday, which is the final day of his 21-day evaluation window. At that time (or before) they will either need to place him on the active roster, return him to the reserve/PUP list (ending his season), or release him from his contract.
Williams’ clock expires on Sunday, December 11—the day the Lions take on the Minnesota Vikings—so a decision on his status would need to be made ahead of that time. He is expected to be placed on the active roster.
- RG Evan Brown (ankle)
- EDGE Julian Okwara (elbow)
Brown injured his ankle against the New York Giants and has been unable to play/practice since. Look for the Lions to turn to Dan Skipper to start at right guard this weekend against the Jaguars.
Okwara went down against the Bills and looked to be in considerable pain. He did not practice at all this week and his pass rushing linebacker role will most likely shift to rookie James Houston, who was signed to the active roster on Monday.
No injury designation
- RT Penei Sewell (ankle)
- C Frank Ragnow (foot)
- LG Jonah Jackson (concussion)
- EDGE Josh Paschal (knee)
- CB Jeff Okudah (concussion)
- CB Chase Lucas (hamstring)
- S Ifeatu Melifonwu (illness)
Sewell missed practice to start the week but was able to return on Thursday and practiced in full on Friday. The Lions starting right tackle is expected to be fine and ready to play on Sunday.
Ragnow is on his typical practice schedule, limiting him during the week, and slowly ramping things up so that he will be full go on Sunday. No concerns here as he has managed this injury all season without major issues.
Jackson and Okudah both passed the league’s concussion protocols and barring a setback, Campbell said both are expected to return to their starting roles this weekend.
“Good. Good, yeah today—they’re really—they’re full go, both of them went full go yesterday,” Campbell said about Jackson and Okudah on Friday. “They’re full go today and as long as there’s no other – no symptoms or anything they’re good. They’re passed protocol. So, I anticipate them playing.”
Paschal is expected to play this week, per Campbell’s Friday morning press conference, but it’s unclear if he will start at closed end, or play a reserve role—behind John Cominsky—while he re-acclimates. Either way, getting him back on the field should give the Lions a real boost on the edge.
Lucas showed up on the practice report with a new hamstring injury, but after being limited on Wednesday, he got in full practices the next two days and should be ready to contribute.
Melifonwu missed practice on Wednesday but has been practicing in full since and is good to go.
Jaguars injury designations
The Jaguars enter this game in good health and all of their injured players are expected to play against the Lions. Here’s a look at the Jaguars’ injury designations:
Jaguars’ HC Doug Pederson told reporters that RB Travis Etienne is “good to go” Sunday vs. the Lions.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 2, 2022