The Detroit Lions held their first practice of the week on Tuesday, something they have preferred to do following a Thursday game. That shifts their regularly scheduled players' day off (typically Tuesday) to Wednesday. But, because NFL rules ask for teams to release their first injury report four days before their game, we get the Lions' official practice report Wednesday afternoon—even though they practiced Tuesday.
This injury report may not reflect what we saw during Tuesday’s practice, as it is an estimation of where their progress is at this point in the week.
Now that we’ve got that sorted out, it’s actually been an eventful few days in Allen Park, so let’s get started.
Note: Any new changes from last week’s injury report will be bolded.
Injured reserve, Non-Football injury list
- EDGE Julian Okwara (undisclosed): IR — evaluation clock has begun, days remaining: 19
- QB Hendon Hooker (ACL): NFI — eligible to return at any time
- OT Matt Nelson (ankle): IR — eligible to return in Week 8
- EDGE Josh Paschal (knee): IR — eligible to return in Week 6
- EDGE James Houston (fibula): IR — eligible to return in Week 7
- CB Khalil Dorsey (illness): IR — eligible to return in Week 6
- DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pectoral): IR — eligible to return in Week 7
Julian Okwara was designated to return from injured reserve on Monday, thus starting his 21-day evaluation clock. During this window, Okwara can practice with the team, and at any time the Lions feel he is healthy enough to return to the 53-man roster (so that he can play in a game) they can activate him. Okwara has been working with trainers for a few weeks now, and he was at practice on Tuesday. If he is activated for this week’s game, that move will likely come on Saturday.
Hendon Hooker is also eligible to return to practice, but the Lions have not made a decision to start his evaluation clock at this time.
Matt Nelson was added to injured reserve ahead of last week’s game and he will be eligible to return in Week 8.
Khalil Dorsey is not eligible to return to practice until next week, but he was seen working with trainers on Tuesday (which is allowed, per NFL rules) which is a good sign he may be getting close to returning.
No practice on Tuesday
- FB Jason Cabinda (knee)
- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdomen)
- DB Brian Branch (ankle) — Injured in Week 5
- C Frank Ragnow (toe/rest)
Cabinda missed practices last week with a knee injury, and while he wasn’t practicing again to start this week, he was working with trainers, which is a positive sign of progress.
St, Brown is dealing with an abdomen injury that was likely suffered on Thursday night. Given that he was working with a training pretty rigorously during Tuesday’s practice, he seems likely to play, especially given his toughness. But let’s see how he progresses through the week.
Branch was injured in the second half of last week’s game, exited the field on a cart, but returned to action soon after. He would re-aggravate his ankle after returning, and exit the game, but Campbell noted that it was not considered a long-term injury.
“It doesn’t appear to be anything too serious with Branch,” Campbell said last Friday, “but there again, don’t know exactly how he’s going to feel until we get going when we get back this week.”
Branch was not physically at practice on Tuesday, which is not a great sign for his availability this week, but as we saw in last week’s game, he has a history of being a quick healer.
Ragnow was at practice on Tuesday, but this estimation for Wednesday is a “day off” for him. He may never be at full health this season, but scheduled days off each week has been working, so expect that trend to continue.
- WR Josh Reynolds (groin)
- LT Taylor Decker (ankle)
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) — Upgraded from no practice
- EDGE Julian Okwara (shoulder)
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring) — Expected to make debut this week
- S Kerby Joseph (hip)
Reynolds is back on the injury report with a groin injury. He had the same designation in Week 3, but it didn’t stop him from playing that week against the Falcons.
Decker, despite being concerned about re-aggravating his ankle injury, was on the practice field on Tuesday and looked to be in a better spot than he previously expected. Soft tissue injuries can be finicky, so he will likely take it slow this week while he continues to rehab.
“I think Deck will be OK,” Campbell said on Monday.
Vaitai missed the last two games with a knee injury but was back on the field this week. If healthy, the starting right guard job will likely default back to him, but Graham Glasgow has done an admirable job in his stay and has proven reliable. Glasgow’s availability affords the Lions the luxury of taking things slow with Vaitai.
Moseley is expected to make his season debut this week, as his health has been trending in the right direction for the past two weeks.
“He’s certainly somebody that we feel like, ‘Alright, let’s get a look at (him) this week,’” Campbell said on Monday. “I feel like the time is right, and he’ll get a little bit. Jerry (Jacobs) will still certainly take the load, but I think the plan is to get E-Man worked in.”
Joseph was estimated to have been able to get in a few limited practices last week and a return to action this week is encouraging for his status in Week 5. If he is ready to go, it would likely mean Ifeatu Melifonwu goes back to a reserve role.
- WR Jameson Williams (not injury related)
Williams’ suspension is over, and if the Lions deem him ready, they’ll activate him on Sunday from the roster exemption list.
No longer on the injury report
- RB David Montgomery (thigh)
- LG Jonah Jackson (thigh)
Montgomery’s thigh looked just fine last Thursday night, as he amassed 34 touches (32 rushes and two receptions) throughout the game. Clearly, he’s past an injury that some thought may take him a few weeks to recover from.
Jackson played through a thigh injury last game but it clearly wasn’t that serious.
Panthers injury report
Here’s a look at the Panthers' initial injury report: