Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift in concussion protocol, could miss Panthers game

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Lions‘ D’Andre Swift was asked Wednesday what he planned to do for an encore after his big game against Washington.

We might have to wait another week — or longer — to find out.

Swift did not practice Thursday because of a brain injury, leaving his status for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers in doubt.

The rookie running back ran for 81 yards on 16 carries and had another 68 yards receiving in his first career start last week against Washington.

Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell indicated Tuesday that he planned to keep Swift as his starting running back, with Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson coming off the bench.

“It’s kind of been a process for (Swift),” Bevell said. “He wasn’t able to get as many reps as we hoped that he would of at the start of training camp with some of the things that he was working through, so we feel like we got him up to speed and he’s in a good spot and then showed up in the game. He did a great job with the run game. We were able to get him involved in the pass game as well. And as you watched the games prior, I think you can kind of see some of the things that were coming and how we were using him. He stepped up.”

Swift has been the Lions’ most explosive running back this season, though he played behind Peterson the first quarter of the year.

He’s third on the team with 31 catches, leads all Lions running backs at 4.7 yards per carry and has a team-high six touchdowns (four rushing).

Peterson leads the Lions with 371 yards rushing on 97 carries, but is averaging just 3.8 yards per rush.

It’s unclear when Swift suffered his injury. He was a full participant in practice Wednesday and held a post-practice video conference with reporters.

But the fact that he was in concussion protocol makes it unlikely he will be cleared to play Sunday.

Players in concussion protocol must go through a five-step process to return, including taking part in non-contact activities and then football-specific drills. Swift also must be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can return.

The Lions (4-5) play two games in the next seven days, Sunday against the Panthers and on Thanksgiving against the Houston Texans.

Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola also missed practice Thursday with hip injuries.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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