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Lions Wild Card injury report: Sam LaPorta misses practice, 3 OL rest

Checking in on the Detroit Lions' initial injury report for Wild Card weekend, as they prepare to take on the Los Angeles Rams.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have begun their on-field work as they prepare to take on the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round of the 2023-24 playoffs.

While Detroit is opening the week with five players not participating in practice, they are getting a few players healthier, and according to coach Dan Campbell, they’re “at a pretty good spot right now.”

NOTE: Any changes from last week’s injury report will be bolded.

No practice

  • WR Kalif Raymond (knee) — injured vs. Vikings in Week 18
  • TE Sam LaPorta (knee) — injured vs. Vikings in Week 18
  • C Frank Ragnow (toe/back/knee/rest)
  • LT Taylor Decker (rest)
  • RG Graham Glasgow (rest)

Raymond and LaPorta were both injured against the Vikings in Week 18, and while initial reports looked bad, there is some optimism surrounding both players' recovery processes.

“He’s improving,” Campbell said of LaPorta on Wednesday. “He was out there at walkthrough. I don’t foresee us knowing anything or feeling like we have a really good picture until probably Friday afternoon. But every day we’re going to do more with him. He’s improving.”

A hyperextended knee and bone bruise are tough to come back from quickly, but there’s a chance he will play on Sunday, which was not originally anticipated.

Raymond is a bit further behind LaPorta in his recovery process, but again, Campbell insists the injury is not as bad as it originally appeared.

“Maybe a little bit farther away than LaPorta,” Campbell said of Raymond. “But it’s very much we’re talking in days, not weeks I think here, which is a good thing.”

Last week, the Lions altered days in which they rested Ragnow, Decker, and Glasgow, but it appears they may be getting their rest day out of the way early. Ragnow has been dealing with multiple injuries all season, and while Decker has had a lingering groin injury, he is only listed as being rested on this report. The Lions have been scheduling rest days for their veteran offensive lineman of late in order to keep them fresh and rested. If there is anything concerning with Ragnow, we will find out on Thursday’s injury report.

Limited practice

  • CB Jerry Jacobs (thigh)

Jacobs did not suffer a noticeable injury during the Vikings game but it’s possible it showed up after the fact. Being limited to start the week is not overly surprising but also is something to monitor as the week progresses.

Full practice

  • WR Jameson Williams (ankle) — Upgraded: Did not play/practice in Week 18
  • TE Brock Wright (hip) — Upgraded: Did not play/practice in Week 16, 17, or 18
  • DT John Cominsky (illness) — missed Vikings game in Week 18
  • EDGE James Houston (ankle, IR) — evaluation days remaining: 8 — Upgraded from limited
  • CB Cameron Sutton (toe/heel) — Heel is a new injury
  • DB Brian Branch (wrist) — injured vs. Vikings in Week 18

Williams and Wright both missed last week’s game, but Campbell noted on Monday that feels like they’re getting close to returning.

“Brock is going much better,” Campbell said. “(Jameson Williams) Jamo’s doing much better.”

The fact that the Lions have not made a move at tight end suggests they indeed feel confident Wright is headed in the right direction because with LaPorta questionable, James Mitchell is the only healthy tight end on the roster.

Williams is not only expected to be ready to return but he is also expected to have a significant role in the postseason.

“He’s making plays and he is, he’s much more consistent,” Campbell said of Williams. “And all he’s got to do is exactly what he’s been doing every week. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s getting better.”

Things are less optimistic with Houston—who has just over a week before a decision needs to be made on his status—but a full practice surely helps his case.

“Houston will be out there practicing, and we’ll see,” Campbell said. “He’ll be better than he was last week. Now how much is that? How good is that going to be? I don’t know. So, I don’t feel like—I’m not as optimistic about him.”

Cominsky missed last Sunday’s game in what was deemed a coaching decision and is now listed with an illness. While they may be related, that is not clear at this time.

“Felt like, man, he’s got some hard miles on him through this season, all the dirty work he does,” Campbell noted. “And so, we just felt like the right thing to do was just give him a blow here.”

Sutton was practicing in full last week, played a full complement of snaps, and is expected to be on track to play against this Sunday, though it’s worth noting that he is now also dealing with a heel injury.

Branch required medical attention during the Vikings game but was able to get back on the field and finish the game. The Lions may elect to take it slowly with their star defensive back this week so he’s ready to go this weekend.

No longer on the injury report

  • DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pectoral)
  • DT Alm McNeill (knee)
  • DT Benito Jones (illness)

Rams injury report

Note: starters are bolded.

Did not practice

  • RT Rob Havenstein (rest)
  • OL Joe Noteboom (foot)
  • LB Troy Reeder (knee)
  • FS Jordan Fuller (ankle)

Limited practice

  • TE Tyler Higbee (shoulder)
  • RG Kevin Dotson (shoulder)

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