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Lions RB Craig Reynolds returns to practice, starting his 21-day clock

The Detroit Lions return yet another offensive skill player to the practice field.

NFL: OCT 23 Lions at Cowboys Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A day after Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus returned to practice, running back Craig Reynolds also began practicing, starting his 21-day evaluation period.

Reynolds injured his ribs early in November and eventually landed on injured reserve. He had previously been operating as the Lions’ third running back and with D’Andre Swift working through his share of injuries, Detroit leaned on Reynolds to help Jamaal Williams shoulder the load.

In the six games leading up to his injury, Reynolds had produced 102 rushing yards on 23 carries, as well as hauling in nine receptions for 116 yards. His explosion hasn’t looked as impactful as it did in 2021, but statistically, he was averaging more production per carry and per reception this season.

In Reynolds’ absence over the last month, Justin Jackson has stepped into the third running back role and over the last five games, he has produced 115 yards on 22 carries, plus seven receptions for 59 receiving yards.

The Lions have 21 days to evaluate Reynolds’ health and can bring him back to the active roster at any time during that window, but with Jackson performing at a similar level, Detroit will be in no rush to push Reynold back into action. For reference, typically, when players have returned from injured reserve, they have spent roughly two weeks are-acclimating before the Lions place them back on the active roster.

If for some reason the Lions determine Reynolds is not healthy enough to return to game action, they can opt to not elevate him after his evaluation window expires and he will revert to season-ending injured reserve.

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