The Detroit Lions have declared their inactives ahead of their Week 2 matchup against the Washington Commanders at Ford Field in Detroit, and while they will have their starting running back, D’Andre Swift, available, they will be leaning on reserves for all three interior offensive line starting spots.
Swift missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but was able to return to the practice field on Friday and was listed as questionable. All week, Swift has insisted he would be available to play but based on a Sunday morning, it was suggested by NFL Network that the team would be cautious with his snaps.
The Lions made a few roster moves this week. They placed backup guard Tommy Kraemer on injured reserve with a back injury, signed guard Kayode Awosika off the Eagles practice squad, and Justin Jackson off their own practice squad. On Saturday, they elevated offensive lineman Dan Skipper and linebacker Anthony Pittman from the practice squad, bringing the game-day roster up to 55 players.
Because the Lions have eight offensive linemen active for Sunday’s game, they are eligible to expand their game-day roster from 46 to 48 players. Therefore, with 55 players available and 48 eligible to play, the Lions need to declare seven inactive for today’s matchup.
Here are those seven players:
- C Frank Ragnow (groin, foot) — Ruled OUT on Friday
- LG Jonah Jackson (finger)
- CB Amani Oruwariye (back)
- S Ifeatu Melifonwu (hamstring)
- EDGE Austin Bryant
- TE James Mitchell
- DT Demetrius Taylor
Ragnow was able to play through his groin injury against the Eagles, but a new foot injury this week kept him out of practices and he was ruled out on Friday. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Evan Brown, who played well in his 12 starts last season.
Jackson injured his finger in Wednesday’s practice and was unable to practice for the remainder of the week. While he was listed as questionable on Friday, the Lions downgraded him to doubtful on Saturday and now out on Sunday. It’s unclear who will replace Jackson at left guard, and they appear to have three options: Dan Skipper was elevated from the practice squad, Drew Forbes was claimed last week, and Kayode Awosika was signed this week.
Oruwariye appeared to be unable to stretch his back out on Thursday and had to leave practice prematurely. He was unable to practice on Friday and was listed as questionable to play. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Will Harris, who was challenging to start in training camp but has struggled over the last month to find his rhythm.
Melifonwu missed nearly a month of training camp, only had three days of limited practices under his belt since returning, and was listed with a doubtful designation, so being inactive makes sense.
Bryant played on 26 defensive snaps last week, mostly in subpackages on the edge, but with Julian Okwara finally healthy, he will likely be called upon to take over that role, leaving Bryant a healthy scratch in this game.
Mitchell, currently the Lions’ fourth option at tight end, appears to still be acclimating to the NFL after ACL surgery delayed his ability to participate in camps. He continues to progress but is not quite ready to see game action.
Taylor was one fo the feel-good stories of training camp and the only UDFA to make the 53-man roster, but the team continues to favor experience, keeping Isaiah Buggs and Benito Jones active.