The Detroit Lions are officially off the bye week and already starting their preparation for Sunday’s road trip against the Los Angeles Chargers. One of the prime benefits of a bye week is the extra time to get healthy, and it appears the Lions did just that. On Monday, coach Dan Campbell indicated that running back David Montgomery, center Frank Ragnow, and left guard Jonah Jackson all made progress over the past week, and he was optimistic about their chances to play.
“All three of those guys moved around today,” Campbell said. “They were out there. Today was really more of priming the pump, get them ready for tomorrow. But we did some individual, some group, a special teams segment, and they were all involved. All three of those guys.”
When asked if he believed they’d be available this week, Campbell was quite optimistic.
“Yeah, I think so. We’ll see tomorrow when we pad them up, but they’ve been trending the right way for a while. Certainly hopeful to get them,” Campbell said.
Montgomery has been sidelined since suffering a rib injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers In Week 6. First-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs has stepped in admirably, rushing for 220 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries over the past two games.
With Montgomery expected back in the lineup, however, Campbell doesn’t expect Gibbs to continue to be the workhorse back—but he may have a bigger role than he did when both backs were healthier earlier in the season.
“Certainly we know what David can do, but we know that Gibbs has gotten better every week,” Cambell said. “We’re going to ask those guys to do things they do well and that helps our offense move the football. I don’t think necessarily, sitting here talking to you right now, that I see Gibbs getting 65 plays. I don’t see that, but he’s going to get his fair share now. We know what he can be and he’s growing. So I think it’ll be a little bit by committee, and make sure that we get those guys touches. Gibbs will get his touches.”
Ragnow has missed just a single game with a calf injury, while Jackson’s ankle injury has sidelined him for three straight games. With both back in the lineup, it will be interesting to see what the Lions do at the right guard position. Graham Glasgow has filled in at every interior offensive line position thus far this year and has performed at a high level. That said, Halapoulivaati Vaitai entered the season as the starter. Vaitai has been fighting off a knee and back injury this season and has only started three games. But with the extra break, will he be healthy enough to re-enter the lineup?
Jackson, Montgomery, and Ragnow were the only three players on the 53-man roster to have missed last Monday’s game due to an injury. So it’s quite possible the Lions have a clean bill of health coming out of the bye. We’ll know more for certain when the first injury report of the week comes out on Wednesday afternoon.