On Sunday afternoon, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell provided a not-so-optimistic update on the ankle injury to edge defender James Houston.
“I think Houston will be out for a little while,” Campbell said.
You know when Campbell gives an update like that right after a game, the news is bad. And on Monday morning, a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed that. Per Rapoport, Houston has a fractured ankle and is expected to miss a minimum of six to eight weeks. It could be even longer, as Rapoport notes that further testing will reveal whether the second-year defender will need surgery on his ankle.
#Lions pass-rusher James Houston suffered a fractured ankle, sources tell me and @TomPelissero, an injury that knocks him out at least 6-8 weeks. He’ll have more testing today to determine if he’ll need surgery and how much longer he would be out. Houston had 8 sacks last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 18, 2023
Houston blasted onto the scene last year after being promoted from the practice squad late in the season. He finished 2022 with eight sacks in just seven game appearances.
This year, however, Houston’s role was diminished after being pushed down the depth chart in favor of more three-down options at defensive end. He played in just 21 snaps in the season opener and 11 snaps before suffering his injury against the Seahawks on Sunday.
The Lions have been hit particularly hard on the defensive line with injuries already. Julian Okwara started the season on injured reserve, while Josh Paschal suffered an injury during practice last week and landed on IR on Saturday.
In the meantime, as we saw on Sunday, the Lions will likely increase the roles of players like John Cominsky and Romeo Okwara to help compensate with the losses.
Detroit suffered a laundry list of injuries against the Seahawks. We’ve got the latest injury news on David Montgomery, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Antoine Green, and more here.