| The Detroit News
D’Andre Swift can’t catch a break.
On the day the Detroit Lions rookie running back finally cleared concussion protocol, he was struck by an illness that kept him off the practice field Thursday afternoon. The illness was not related to COVID-19, keeping him on track to potentially return to action on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Swift has missed the past two games with the concussion, unexpectedly popping on to the injury report two weeks ago. The previous weenend, he made his first start, gaining 149 all-purpose yards and scoring a touchdown in the team’s victory over Washington.
And while the team has repeatedly declined to clarify when Swift suffered the concussion, interim coach Darrell Bevell stated this week that the recovery had been an uneven process for the young back.
“I think he’s close,” Bevell said Wednesday. “It’s really hard to say. I think it (has) kind of been a little bit up-and-down for him. So, each day’s a little bit different as we come in. … It’s progressing so far, take him through it, then see the next day how he reacts to it. Some days there’s a step forward, some days you have to (say), ‘OK, I’ve got to stay here at this level,’ and we’ll continue to work from there.”
Teammate Adrian Peterson has taken Swift under his wing this season and said it’s been tough watching the rookie struggle through the injury.
“You think of a guy like Swift, he’s very competitive, obviously a great person and athlete,” Peterson said. “To see him not being himself, you know, the energy level, when you see him not being the same because of what he’s dealing with, it hurts because I want to see him be successful. We miss him out there, as well.
“I just try to motivate him and tell him things will get better,” Peterson continued. “I encourage him to be smart, because obviously after missing two games and still dealing with some things, it makes you put things in perspective and realize what’s most important and that’s making sure you’re completely healthy and you’re good. So making him understand that, ‘Hey, you’re young. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready for you to come back out there and get back to doing what you’re doing, but no one knows you like you, so just remember that and go off of that.'”
In addition to Swift’s absence, the Lions continued to be without wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip), cornerback Jeff Okudah (shoulder), defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand (groin) and wide receiver Quintez Cephus (not injury related).
It’s looking more and more likely Golladay will miss his fourth straight contest and sixth of the season overall.
There were no new additions to Thursday’s practice participation report, but two players were upgraded. Linebacker Christian Jones (knee) went from no practice on Wednesday to limited participant, while wide receiver Danny Amendola went from limited to full participant for the first time since suffering a hip injury a few weeks back.
Lions center Frank Ragnow was nominated by the team for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers Art Rooney Sr. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists from the 32 nominees. Those finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot when players vote on Friday, Dec. 18.
Peterson won the award last year as a member of the Washington Football Team.