The Detroit Lions released their Week 5 injury designations and the update comes with a few new inclusions of bad news. In addition to ruling two players out, they also have two listed as doubtful, eight listed as questionable, and two new players were added to Friday’s report.
Let’s get to the details.
Note: Any new changes from yesterday’s injury report will be bolded.
- FB Jason Cabinda (knee)
- DB Brian Branch (ankle)
Cabinda has not practiced for two weeks and will miss his second game in a row. He will be replaced by tight end/H-back Darrell Daniels on offense and special teams.
Branch was unable to practice this week, but the early hope is that he will possibly return for next week’s game in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers.
“I don’t think it’s this long-term (injury), that’s why we didn’t put him on IR,” coach Dan Campbell said on Friday. “So, we’re hopeful for Tampa but we’ll just have to play it by ear.”
- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdomen)
- TE James Mitchell (hamstring) — New injury
On Saturday, St. Brown is going to get another chance to convince the Lions medical staff he can play through the injury. If he can convince the staff to give him another look, he may end up needing to go into Sunday with another set of tests to pass and would be a game-time decision. If he can’t convince the medical team at any stage, he’ll likely be downgraded and replaced by Kalif Raymond in the starting slot role.
Mitchell was not on the injury report through Thursday but showed up on Friday as a non-participant and is doubtful to play. Late-week injuries can be very problematic for availability, so things aren’t looking good right now. If he can’t go, Daniels will expand his duties even further to pick up snaps from Mitchell as well as Cabinda.
- RB Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring) — New Injury
- WR Josh Reynolds (groin)
- WR Jameson Williams (not injury-related)
- LT Taylor Decker (ankle)
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee)
- EDGE Julian Okwara (shoulder) — evaluation clock has begun, days remaining: 16
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring)
- S Kerby Joseph (hip)
While this is a lengthy questionable list, it’s worth noting that everyone here except for Gibbs was listed as a full participant for Friday’s practice.
Gibbs is another new injury for the Lions on Friday, showing up as a limited participant on Friday after practicing in full all week. While he is listed with a hamstring injury, like Mitchell, limited participation and a questionable designation are more encouraging.
Reynolds managed to play through his groin injury this week Campbell doesn’t seem overly concerned about his availability, despite the questionable designation.
“Yeah, (Reynolds) seems to be doing pretty good,” Campbell said. “And we’ll know a lot more about him today as well, but he felt better yesterday.”
Williams is likely given a questionable designation because they technically haven’t made a decision on whether he will join the roster yet. That move will likely be announced on Saturday if it happens.
Decker’s status has been trending up all week and the Lions seem optimistic he will also be able to start this week.
Vaitai is also trending up and is expected to rejoin the starting offensive line at right guard in this game. “We’re hopeful that we’ll have him for this game in some capacity,” Campbell said on Friday.
Okwara is still technically on injured reserve and in his first week of the evaluation process. He is eligible to come off the injury report at any time, and like with Williams, that move would likely come on Saturday if it happens at all.
Moseley is expected to see the field for the first time this season, though his snaps will be scaled back as he acclimates.
“We want to get Moseley some reps here and get him going a little bit,” Campbell said on Friday. “But certainly, that’s going to be Jerry (Jacobs) out there most of this game. And really, it could be E-Man out there for Cam (Sutton) on a couple of reps too. We’re not quite there yet, but I know this, we want to get Moseley going a little bit.”
While Campbell seems to suggest Sutton would be replaced by Moseley on the outside at times, I don't believe that necessarily means Sutton goes to the bench. Sutton is very experienced at nickel corner—as I mentioned on this week’s mid-week mailbag—and could kick inside to square off with the Panthers top receiver, Adam Thielen.
Joseph is also expected to return to his starting safety role, which likely means Ifeatu Melifonwu will step back into a reserve role.
Not listed with an injury designation
- C Frank Ragnow (toe/rest)
Ragnow got Friday off for rest purposes and is listed without an injury designation for this game. He’s good to go.
Panthers injury designations
Here’s a look at the Panthers' injury designations: