| Detroit Free Press
NFL Power Rankings 16.0: Bears still alive in the playoff hunt
USA TODAY Sports’ Mackenzie Salmon break down the risers and fallers of this weeks NFL power Ranking.
Matthew Stafford did not practice Wednesday because of the sprained ankle he suffered in last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and whoever quarterbacks the Detroit Lions this week will not have to keep up with one of the NFL’s best running backs.
Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell said Wednesday that Chase Daniel will take first-team reps in practice and is in line to start Sunday’s season finale against the Minnesota Vikings if Stafford cannot play.
“With Matthew, I think the best thing for him is that he’s got the best feel and read for his body,” Bevell said. “So we’ll continue to progress like we normally do with him, and some of the other injuries are resolving so we’ll see how this injury on his ankle resolves as well by the end of the week.”
Stafford was hurt on the Lions’ first offensive series against the Bucs, when he stepped awkwardly while backpedaling to avoid a hit by linebacker Devin White.
He said Monday he intends to play against the Vikings if possible.
“If the rest of me, if I’m good, I want to be out there,” Stafford said. “I want to play, do everything I can to try and get there towards the end of the week, and we’re going to kind of have to figure it out as we go, day to day, just see how it responds to treatment and all that. But hopefully I can get it good enough to go and be out there.”
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Linebacker Jamie Collins (neck), receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) and offensive lineman Joe Dahl also did not practice Wednesday, while Frank Ragnow returned after missing two games with fractured throat cartilage. Bevell said there is a chance Ragnow can play Sunday.
“He is speaking,” Bevell said. “But really what I’m asking him to do is I don’t want him to overextend it or anything during the week, so the communication will be minimal. I mean, he’s talking and all that, but I don’t want him barking out any calls or signals that way, just so that we can continue to let it heal as much as we can all the way till Sunday, I think that’s kind of the prudent thing to do and he’s on board with that.”
The Vikings (6-9) will be without running back Dalvin Cook on Sunday, after Cook left the team after his father died unexpectedly in Florida.
Cook is second in the NFL with 1,557 yards rushing and tied for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns.
He pummeled the Lions for 206 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 22 carries in Minnesota’s 34-20 Week 9 victory.
Bevell said Lions defensive line coach Bo Davis, one of five coaches forced to sit out the Tampa game, remains away from the team in COVID-19 protocols.