Let’s take a look at the Lions Week 3 injury designations.
- LT Taylor Decker (ankle)
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee)
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring)
- S Kerby Joseph (hip)
After injuring his ankle in Week 1, Decker will now miss his second consecutive game. Ahead of last week’s game Decker was given a doubtful designation on Friday, then downgraded to out on Saturday. Suggesting he was on the right track to return to play. This week, he got in more work with trainers but was not able to join his teammates on the practice field. It’s possible he is close enough that he could return for Week 4 against the Packers, but on a short week (they play on Thursday) things remain up in the air.
Vaitai sounds like he will be out a bit longer than Decker based on coach Dan Campbell's comments at Friday’s press conference.
“Yeah, I don’t feel good about him for this game,” Campbell said, “but he’s improved significantly since last week. So, it’s still – we won’t know (about Week 4). It’s just a matter of how quickly he recovers. But he is improving. I can’t really give you a window yet.”
On the plus side for Vaitai, the Lions feel encouraged that they made the correct decision to not place him on injured reserve because they feel he will return to play within the next three weeks.
Moseley has now missed two full weeks' worth of practices after injuring his hamstring while rehabbing from his ACL tear. It’s an unfortunate setback that has no true timetable for return at this time.
Joseph injured his hip early in Week 2 but was able to return to play and finished out the game. Even though he was working with trainers this week, he was unable to practice at any time and will not be available against the Falcons. With C.J. Gardner-Johnson placed on injured reserve this week, the Lions will turn to Tracy Walker and likely Ifeatu Melifonwu to start at safety.
- RB David Montgomery (thigh)
A doubtful designation means Montgomery will get one more day to see if he can get cleared medically, and if not, he will likely be downgraded to out on Saturday. If he gets enough clearance on Saturday, he will get checked again ahead of the game on Sunday, with a game-time decision pending that examination.
If he can’t play, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs will get the start and he will be spelled by Craig Reynolds and recently promoted Zonovan Knight.
- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (toe)
- WR Josh Reynolds (groin)
St. Brown sat out practice on Wednesday, returned in limited fashion on Thursday, wrapped up Friday’s practice as a full participant, and is expecting to play on Sunday. St. Brown also downplayed his toe injury, denying it was turf toe, while also confirming that he will play with a steel plate in his cleat as a preventative measure while it heals—something he did successfully during his high school playing days.
“Yeah, I’m going to play with that,” St. Brown said. “I had one in high school, I used to play with one all the time, so I’m used to it.”
Reynolds was limited early in the week but got in a full practice on Friday, indicating he is also more than likely to be ready to play against the Falcons. Having both Reynolds and St. Brown available is a massive sigh of relief for the Lions' offensive potential.
Not listed with an injury designation
- C Frank Ragnow (toe/rest)
Another week and another Friday where Ragnow is not listed with an injury designation. Ragnow’s toe injury will likely be a lingering problem all year, and he will continue to get veteran rest days—like he did on Thursday this week—as a way of managing the pain. He’s good to go on Sunday.
Falcons injury designations
Here’s a look at the Falcons injury designations:
- RB Cordarrelle Patterson (thigh) - Questionable
- CB Jeff Okudah (foot) — Questionable
- LB Troy Anderson — Cleared concussion protocols, eligible to play
Okudah will be looking to play his first game in a Falcons uniform, and it makes perfect sense to have that happen in the building he called home his first three seasons in the NFL.