Kenny Golladay injury could doom Lions’ playoff hopes

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If the Detroit Lions lose wide receiver Kenny Golladay, are their playoff hopes dead?

Even though sitting at 3-4, the Detroit Lions aren’t far out of the NFC playoff race. However, without a key component to their offense, it might be a sign that the team from the Motor City will be stalling.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, wide receiver Kenny Golladay is expected to be out this week against the Minnesota Vikings with a hip injury. As it stands now, the fourth-year target could be playing on a week-to-week basis, eventually being a candidate for the injured reserve list.

Golladay would leave Sunday’s 41-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter. He’d finish his afternoon without a catch on four targets. For the season, Golladay currently is Detroit’s leading receiver, collecting 20 receptions for 338 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.

This will not be the first time the Lions will be without their go-to weapon. The 26-year-old missed the team’s first two games after battling a hamstring injury. Golladay also is in a contract year, hoping to boost his paycheck to remain with the franchise or earn more on the open market.

Is this the end of Detroit’s playoff hopes?

Without Golladay, Matthew Stafford has played well this season by spreading the ball around. Slot receiver Danny Amendola currently ranks second on the team with 324 receiving yards off 18 catches while tight end T.J. Hockenson continues to be a force in the red zone, hauling in 29 receptions for 321 yards and four scores.

Marvin Jones Jr. has been a quality No. 2 opposite Golladay, currently sitting 265 yards and three touchdowns through seven games.

Detroit’s defense continues to be an issue, especially in the pass-rushing department. After seven outings, the team has recorded 10 sacks, ranking them 28th in that category. Last month, the team traded for Cowboys’ defensive end Everson Griffen to bolster their front seven.

Depending on the severity of Golladay’s injury and how much time he’ll miss, this could be another struggling season for the franchise. The Lions might have to decide which path they’re on before the closing of Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Next: Will the Lions be sellers at the trade deadline?

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