Lions’ D’Andre Swift will have limited role if cleared to play Sunday

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
 
| The Detroit News

Allen Park — For the second consecutive day, Detroit Lions rookie running back D’Andre Swift didn’t practice due to a lingering, non-COVID-19 illness, putting him in jeopardy of missing his third consecutive game.

Swift, who missed the previous two weeks due to a concussion, cleared protocol for that injury Thursday, prior to missing the next two practices, including Friday’s.

“We’re going to continue to take this through the end of the week,” Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell said. “We’ll see how he continues to react to things, and then we’ll be able to give you an update for Sunday.

“That’s about as much information on D’Andre I can give you.”

The Lions weren’t prepared to rule out Swift for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, at least prior to the release of the team’s 4 p.m. injury report. Bevell did note that if Swift ends up getting the green light for the matchup, his role would be limited.

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“We’re just building him up, giving him a little bit more, a little bit more,” Bevell said, talking about Swift’s season-long progression “Obviously, it’d just go back to a smaller package for him. He’s been in meetings. He’s been in-and-out, coaches have been in communication with him, he’s been on some Zoom stuff. 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 like I talk about.”

It’s been a rocky debut season for the second-round pick out of the University of Georgia. Like all players, he was robbed of the physical portion of the offseason program this season due to the pandemic, then, in training camp, Swift suffered a hip injury that sidelined him several days. 

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He didn’t see 10 touches in a game until Week 6, following the team’s bye. By then, it was clear he was Detroit’s most-dynamic option in the backfield, but he didn’t earn his first start until Week 10 against Washington. 

Swift was electric in that contest, a 30-27 victory, gaining 149 yards from scrimmage and scoring a touchdown on a reception where he barreled over a defender at the goal line. 

Four days later, he popped up on the practice report with a concussion. The team has continually declined to clarify whether the injury was suffered in the game, the practice week or off the field. 

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For the season, Swift has carried the ball 70 times for 331 yards and four touchdowns, while catching 31 passes for 275 yards and two more scores. 

In addition to Swift’s absence, wide receiver Kenny Golladay continued to be sidelined by a hip injury on Friday, all but ruling out the possibility he plays against Chicago. It will be the fourth consecutive game he’s missed and sixth overall this season. 

Defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand also missed the entire week of practice and is on track to miss his third straight game. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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