The Detroit Lions currently have 11 players on injury lists, and while four of them are considered season-ending injuries, there are another five players who are eligible to return at any time, including another new name this week: Jason Cabinda.
Cabinda was technically eligible to return in Week 9, but because of the team's bye, that process was delayed a week.
Here’s an updated overview of the Lions’ injured players and when they are eligible to return. Note: bolded players are currently eligible.
- QB Hendon Hooker (ACL): NFI — eligible to return at any time
- QB Nate Sudfeld (ACL): IR — season-ending
- RB Zonovan Knight (shoulder): IR — season-ending
- RB Mohamed Ibrahim (hip): Practice squad IR — eligible to return in Week 13
- FB Jason Cabinda (knee): IR — eligible to return in Week 9
- TE Shane Zylstra (knee): IR — season-ending
- OT Matt Nelson (ankle): IR — eligible to return at any time
- EDGE James Houston (fibula): IR — eligible to return at any time
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (ACL): IR — season-ending
- DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pectoral): IR — eligible to return at any time
- LS Scott Daly (knee): IR — eligible to return in Week 14
As a reminder, NFL teams are only eligible to return eight players from injured reserve during a season, and through the first 10 weeks, the Lions have returned three players: Julian Okwara in Week 5, CB/KR Khalil Dorsey in Week 6, and Josh Paschal in Week 7. As a result, the Lions only have five remaining opportunities to return players to the active roster from injured reserve.
Of the five current players eligible to return, none of their arrivals seem imminent. Hendon Hooker told Dave Birkett of the Free Press that he’s about 90% recovered from his ACL and while he still plans on returning when ready, there appears to be no rush. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, James Houston, and Matt Nelson’s injuries all required surgeries, and their potential to return seems further off—if it happens at all.
Cabinda could be the closest of the bunch to return, but there is little known surrounding his status. After injuring his knee, Cabinda actually stayed on the active roster for two weeks—missing six practices—before landing in injured reserve, suggesting coaches/medical staff thought he might be close to returning during that timeframe. But his eventual landing on IR suggests he either had a setback or they felt he wasn’t improving fast enough and needed a block of time to rest/recover.
One thing to consider is that the Lions placed Daly on IR last week, and if they believed Cabinda—or any of the eligible players on this list—were close to returning, they likely would’ve kept that spot open for their return. But, they signed a seventh off-the-ball linebacker, UDFA rookie Trevor Nowaske, off the practice squad instead.