The Detroit Lions are preparing to take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14, and their Thursday injury report shows the return of three starters to the practice field, Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow, and DeShon Elliott.
Let’s take a closer look at where the Lions stand with regard to injuries.
21-day evaluation clock
- WR Quintez Cephus (foot, IR): Day 2 (latest update)
- RB Craig Reynolds (ribs, IR): Day 1 (latest update)
A day after returning wide receiver Quintez Cephus to practice, reserve running back Craig Reynolds also made his return. With Justin Jackson finding success filling in as the Lions’ third running back, the Lions can be patient in returning Reynolds back into the fold.
No practice on Thursday
- QB Nate Sudfeld (illness)
- WR Kalif Raymond (illness)
- G Kayode Awosika (ankle)
- LB Derrick Barnes (knee)
- CB Jeff Okudah (illness)
- CB Chase Lucas (hamstring)
Sudfeld, Raymond, and Okudah get another day off while working through their illnesses, but a return to the practice field on Friday would be typical. If, for some reason, they are not back on the field on Friday, they would still have another 48 hours from that point to get back to health.
Awosika played on 100 percent of snaps against the Jaguars, so his ankle injury is likely something that showed up after the fact. He had been starting at right guard in place of Evan Brown, but with Brown looking like he is ready to return to his starting role, the Lions can weather Awosika’s injury, as they are in a better spot on the offensive line.
Barnes injured his knee in last Sunday’s game, exited for a brief period, and returned to finish it out. As is typical, when a player is injured during the game, they usually get Wednesday off from practice, but it’s too early to tell if the extra day off on Thursday is a sign of a setback, or if he is just getting more time because it’s late in the season.
Lucas has been dealing with ankle and hamstring injuries of late, so this looks like a potential day off to help keep him fresh and healthy. He was present at practice and on the sideline with teammates on Thursday.
- LT Taylor Decker (elbow) — UPGRADE
- C Frank Ragnow (foot) — UPGRADE
- RG Evan Brown (ankle)
- DB Will Harris (hip) — NEW INJURY
After giving veteran starters Decker, Ragnow, and Elliott the day off on Wednesday to nurse their injuries, all three returned to the practice field on Thursday and were able to participate. Look for their participation levels to increase on Friday and they should be on track to start on Sunday.
Brown has now practiced two days in a row and appears on track to return to the field on Sunday, back in his starting role at right guard. He was playing some of the best football of his time in Detroit before his injury and his return could give the offensive line—who have been rolling without him—a big boost.
Harris’ injury is potentially troubling. Whenever a player has a new, mid-week injury, plus a limited participation level, it likely means one of two things: 1) he was limited due to injury and could be in good shape to play, or 2) he was limited because he suffered the injury at practice and his status for the weekend could be in jeopardy, as mid-week injuries are typically bad news. We won’t know which reason until Friday.
- RB Jamaal Williams (hand) — NEW INJURY
- RB D’Andre Swift (ankle) — UPGRADE
- S DeShon Elliott (ankle) — UPGRADE
Williams also suffered a new injury but a full participation level is much more encouraging for his availability. It’s still worth monitoring but this is a more positive sign than with Harris.
Swift has been dealing with injuries all season, so early week rest for his ankle seems to be the Lions continuing to soften his workload to keep him fresh moving forward. A return to full work on Thursday is a great sign, especially with Williams getting nicked up a bit.
Vikings injury report
Here’s a look at the Vikings’ Thursday injury report:
Thursday's #Vikings injury report pic.twitter.com/2teRd3HGE2— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 8, 2022