For Lions, help could be on way with players eligible to return from injured reserve

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
| The Detroit News

Coming out of the bye week, the Detroit Lions are relatively healthy, and it’s possible additional reinforcements are on the way. 

The Lions have four players on injured reserve who are eligible to rejoin the active roster this week. That group includes cornerbacks Justin Coleman and Mike Ford, guard Joe Dahl and running back Bo Scarbrough. 

Not surprisingly, coach Matt Patricia is taking a wait-and-see approach with those players heading into the week of practice. 

 “We have a couple days here, between today and tomorrow, to reevaluate just to see if we’re going to get anybody on the clock from that standpoint,” Patricia said on Monday. “I think the guys that are on the short-term IR are doing everything they can to get back. I think we’ve seen some good progress there by some of those guys. It’s certainly different for us this year with that, and then we have a practice window on top of it to make sure everyone’s back in shape and that they are fully recovered from the injuries at that point.”

As Patricia mentions, the IR rules are different this season. First, players only have to spend three games on the list, unlike a minimum of eight in previous years. Additionally, an unlimited number of players are eligible to return to roster. In recent years, that’s been capped at two. 

Once an injured player returns to practice, the team has 21 days to determine whether to activate them or keep them on injured reserve, ending their season. 

When Coleman is medically cleared, he’ll likely slide back into his role as the starting nickel corner where he played a team-high 963 defensive snaps in 2019. With Dahl, who is working his way back from a groin injury, it remains unclear whether he’ll be reinserted back into the starting lineup. 

Following Dahl’s injury, the team shuffled its starting five, moving rookie Jonah Jackson from right guard to left guard and putting Halapoulivaati Vaitai in at right guard. That’s allowed Tyrell Crosby, who has been playing well, to remain in the lineup. The decision with Dahl likely will boil down to whether the Lions prefer him or Crosby on the field. 

Ford and Scarbrough would provide depth.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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