The Detroit Lions declared their injury designations ahead of their Week 2 matchup with the Washington Commanders and things took a turn for the worse in the middle of the offensive line.
- C Frank Ragnow (groin/foot)
Last week, Ragnow was able to play through his groin injury. But this week, with the added ailment of a foot injury, he was unable to practice and has been ruled out. Evan Brown will likely be promoted to the starting lineup in Ragnow’s place. Brown started 12 games last year while Ragnow was on injured reserve dealing with a foot injury. No word on if the current foot injury is related to last year’s injury.
- RB D’Andre Swift (ankle)
- G Jonah Jackson (finger) — Downgraded to doubtful on Saturday
- CB Amani Oruwariye (back)
- S Ifeatu Melifonwu (hamstring)
Swift has told the media on multiple occasions this week that he plans on playing on Sunday, and after missing two practices, followed by a limited practice and questionable on Friday, he will have a chance to do just that.
“He wants to be out there every down, every down,” running back coach Duce Staley told the media on Friday. “You see his excitement on the sideline, you get a chance, go pull up a T.V. copy, and when he comes out, it’s not like he’s upset. He’s just feeling, he’s in the moment, and every day at practice, he’s like that. I know y’all get the calm, cool ‘little model’ D’Andre, walk around. That’s what I call him, a ‘little model’. You get that, but I try to turn it up a little bit. I get a little different approach.”
Staley would go on to say that Swift was “doing a great job managing” his ankle injury and that he knows that Swift “wants to be on the field.”
Jackson was spotted at practice with a wrap/brace on his right ring finger but he has not participated since injuring it on Wednesday. He will likely need further medical examination before the Lions would be willing to play him, and it might come down to a game-time decision on whether or not he can play.
If Jackson is ruled out, his replacement is not as clear, because Logan Stenberg is starting at right guard and Tommy Kraemer was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. The Lions have three replacements on the active roster: Matt Nelson, Drew Forbes, and Kayode Awosika. But Nelson has only repped at right tackle in NFL games, while Forbes has only been with the team less than 10 days, and Awosika less than three. They also have veteran practice squaders Dan Skipper and Darrin Paulo, who are also options as elevations. Both were with the Lions for the majority of training camp and during the 2021 season—while Paulo was repping at guard in 2022.
“We’ll look at Forbes and we’ll look at Kayode who we just got from Philly,” Campbell said on Friday. “So, we’re kind of all hands on deck right now.”
Oruwariye left Thursday’s practice early with a back injury and was unable to practice on Friday, a planned move to let it rest. If he is unable to start this week, the team will likely turn to Will Harris to start at outside corner opposite Jeff Okudah. Harris was firmly in competition with Okudah to start during camp, but over the final few weeks, Okudah elevated his stock, while Harris struggled. If called into action, he will need to get his confidence back in a hurry.
Melifonwu has only been practicing two weeks after missing nearly a month with a hamstring injury. If he is following the same re-acclimation process as Julian Okwara, he may still be another week away from contributing.
No injury designation
- LT Taylor Decker (calf)
- DT Michael Brockers (knee)
- EDGE Julian Okwara (hamstring)
It appears Decker and Brockers got the veteran rest treatment from the Lions coaches, opening the week with a day off on Wednesday, a light, limited practice on Thursday, followed by a practice in full on Friday, and no injury designation for the game. Don’t be surprised if they get this treatment at different times throughout the season, as this coaching staff likes to take things easy with their veterans while dealing with any level of injury.
Okwara has been dealing with the hamstring for several weeks now, and after two weeks of re-acclimation, along with a full week of unlimited practices, he looks ready to start contributing again.
“Yes, yeah he’s full go and it—we’re looking forward to seeing him get out there and move around. I think we’re going to try and get him going a little bit this week,” Campbell said at his Friday press conference.
Washington’s injury designations
- G Wes Schweitzer (hamstring) - questionable
- S Kam Curl (thumb) - questionable
- EDIT: DT Jonathan Allen (groin) - questionable
Reserve guard Schweitzer injured his hamstring in last week’s game and has been limited all week. While Curl, a starting safety, has been recovering from a thumb injury since the preseason and was replaced by Darrick Forrest—who has played well—in the lineup.
For more information about the Commanders injury designations, check out Scott Jennings of Hogs Haven (SB Nation’s Washington Commanders site) article.
EDIT: Starting defensive tackle Jonathan Allen has been added to the Commanders’ injury report.