The Detroit Lions returned to practice on Friday, and it was mostly good news on the injury front for the team. Two players who missed practice on Wednesday—rookie defensive back Brian Branch and guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai—return to the field. While a few players who remain out appear to be nearing returns to practice.
Let’s break it all down player-by-player.
As said above, Vaitai returned to practice after sitting a day out. Coach Dan Campbell said Vaitai took a blow to the back, but it was just a surface-level injury, not something that aggravated that back injury that had caused him to miss all of 2022. That said, the Lions are easing him back into the lineup, and he remained with the second-team offense, keeping Graham Glasgow as the starting right guard.
“He was just a little sore,” Campbell said. “He’ll be back out there today, see what he does. He’ll have some limited reps, but he’s back.”
After a day on the sidelines, Branch returned to practice and did not appear to have any limitations. Campbell was scant on details about the injury, but said it had to do with Branch’s foot and “wasn’t serious.”
The news isn’t quite as promising for Moseley, who has still been absent from the Lions facility while he deals with something related to his ACL injury. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Moseley recently had a “clean up” procedure on his knee.
Wrote this the other day, but was told Emmanuel Moseley had a clean-up on his knee recently. Doesn't sound like anything serious, but Lions coach Dan Campbell declined to talk about that today, said Moseley will be back Monday.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 28, 2023
Campbell refused to confirm whether Moseley had that additional procedure.
“I don’t want to answer that.”
The good news is that Campbell expects Moseley back at the facility by Monday, but it’s unclear how much extra time the cornerback will miss once he arrives.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson/Marvin Jones Jr./Jameson Williams
Campbell called all three of these players “day-to-day,” noting that they’re all making strides in their respective rehabs.
“They’re improving it’s just—I know they won’t be out there today and I think it’s kind of day-to-day at this point,” Campbell said.
In regards to Gardner-Johnson, he was putting in a lot more physical work than his previous two days of rest.
He still has a sleeve on that leg and clearly isn’t moving at full speed yet, but that’s a lot more mobility he has shown since the injury on Monday.
Williams and Jones Jr. continue to look like they’re on the verge of returning to practice. Jones has no visible limitations in his movement, and we saw Williams, at times, running full-speed sprints with trainers. I wouldn’t expect either of them to be out for very much longer.
During practice, Green left practice early with trainers. After practice, he was in a cold tub and being tended to by EMTs, but it appeared he may have been simply dealing with heat exhaustion. We’ll see how he and the rest of the crew look on Saturday, when the team will practice in front of season-ticket holders for the first time this year.