The Detroit Lions took the field on Tuesday for their first practice of the week in preparation for the Carolina Panthers in Week 5. While the team would normally practice for the first time on a Wednesday, the Lions have now made it a habit to start a day early when they’re coming off a Thursday night game.
The good news is that several Lions players returned to practice this week, setting themselves up to be decently healthy for Sunday’s game. We won’t know the specifics of Detroit’s injury situation until they release their first report on Wednesday, but here’s what we could tell from our first-hand observations at Allen Park.
Did not practice
- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
During the portion of practice open to the public, St. Brown was off to the side working with trainers. He was moving quite well, cutting and running at about 70-80% speed. It’s unclear what he may be dealing with, but he did suffer a toe injury earlier in the season and did not miss any significant time.
- DB Brian Branch
Branch had to come out of the game twice against the Packers on Thursday night, as he was dealing with an ankle injury. His availability is unknown for this week. Coach Dan Campbell said on Monday, “It’s early in the week. Don’t really know on all of those guys.”
Branch was not seen at practice.
- FB Jason Cabinda
Cabinda missed last week with a knee injury, but he may be trending in the right direction, as he was working with a trainer on the side. He wasn’t quite moving around like St. Brown was, but it’s still a positive note.
Last week, the Lions signed tight end Darrell Daniels to the 53-man roster, and he held down fullback duties against the Packers.
Returned to practice
- WR Jameson Williams
With his suspension officially over, Williams was on the field for the first time since his hamstring injury mid-training camp. It’s a clear sign his hamstring injury is in the past, but it’s still unclear if Williams will be part of the game plan this week. He has a roster exemption—meaning the Lions will have to activate him to play—and Campbell suggested that even if he does play, it will be limited.
“We also know if he does play, he can’t play 60 plays. That’s not smart, so we can’t do that to him. So, we’ll see where it goes and it’s all about improvement,” Campbell said.
- G Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Vaitai suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and has missed the last two contests. Now he is possibly on track to return to the starting lineup at right guard. In his place, Graham Glasgow has played well, earning a 73.4 PFF grade in over two games of action.
- EDGE Julian Okwara
On Monday, the Lions designated Okwara to return from injured reserve, meaning he stays on IR but can practice for the next three weeks. At any point over that time, Okwara can be taken off IR and placed on the 53-man roster. Based on his ramp-up with trainers over the past few weeks, he’s likely healthy enough to play, but we’ll see if Detroit activates him with Jack Campbell and Derrick Barnes filling in his role at the SAM linebacker position well.
- S Kerby Joseph
Joseph has missed the past two games with a hip injury suffered early against the Seattle Seahawks. This is Joseph’s first practice since that injury, and barring a setback, it appears he may return to play this week. If he does return, it will likely mean pushing Ifeatu Melifonwu to the bench and playing alongside Tracy Walker—who is filling in for C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
Also notably practicing
- LT Taylor Decker
Despite saying he aggravated his ankle injury on Thursday, Decker was out there with the team on Tuesday, indicating the setback was not serious.
- CB Emmanuel Moseley
Moseley has yet to make his Lions debut, as he was rehabbing from ACL surgery, and then had to deal with a hamstring injury. Earlier this week, Campbell indicated Moseley is expected to have a partial role this week.
“He’s certainly somebody that we feel like, ‘Alright, let’s get a look at (him) this week,’” Campbell said. “Feel like the time’s right and he’ll get a little bit. Jerry (Jacobs) will still certainly – would take the load but I think the plan is to get E-Man worked in.”
Other minor notes
- OT Dan Skipper suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2, but because he’s on the practice squad, we did not receive any injury updates on him. He was not practicing on Tuesday, but he was out there on the field with the team.
- CB Khalil Dorsey was working with a trainer, indicating he’s getting healthier. Dorsey suffered an injury in the season opener and was placed on injured reserve. He will be eligible to come off IR next week.