Expect Detroit Lions to limit D’Andre Swift’s workload if he plays vs. Chicago Bears

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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D’Andre Swift missed his second straight practice Friday with a non-COVID-19-related illness, and the Detroit Lions are bracing to play their third straight game with little or no help from their No. 1 running back.

Interim Lions coach Darrell Bevell said Friday that Swift will have a smaller-than-usual game plan-specific role on offense, similar to how he was used early this season, if he is cleared to play.

“Obviously, he would go back to just a smaller package for him,” Bevell said. “He’s been in meetings, he’s kind of been in and out. Coaches have been in communication with him. He’s been on some Zoom stuff, so we just have to see as far as the game plan-specific stuff it would be very specific so that he could go out there and play fast.”

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Swift is second on the team with 70 carries and 331 yards rushing this season, but has separated himself as the Lions’ most valuable running back.

He had 149 yards from scrimmage in the Lions’ Week 10 win over Washington, then reported a brain injury days later and sat out the Lions’ losses to the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans.

He cleared concussion protocol Thursday, but was held out of practice for the first time because of an unspecified illness.

Bevell said there has been no talk yet of shutting Swift down for the season — he ranks third on the team with 31 catches for 275 yards.

“It’s really been a day-to-day thing and so I wouldn’t say it’s gone that far as that discussion,” Bevell said. “I think it’s just been a focus every day on his self and trying to get him right.”

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Wide receiver Kenny Golladay, the Lions’ other missing-in-action offensive star, continues to progress from the hip injury that has kept him out since the first half of a Nov. 1 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Bevell said Golladay, who was a limited participant in practice Thursday after working on the side with trainers Wednesday, has stayed upbeat mentally despite an injury-riddled season — he also missed two games with a strained hamstring to start the season — and stalled talks on a contract extension.

“I love Kenny,” Bevell said. “I mean, he’s always got a good look in his eye, he’s a super competitive guy, he wants to be out there for his teammates, he wants to be out there and playing ball for himself and I mean he’s a game changer for us when he’s out there.”

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