D’Andre Swift still out at Detroit Lions practice; Levi Onwuzurike returns

Detroit Free Press

D’Andre Swift is nearing a return to practice.

Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said Swift will not practice Monday, but should be back on the field for the team’s final public practice of training camp Tuesday.

Swift has missed most of camp with a sore groin, though Campbell said after Friday’s preseason-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills the second-year running back “could have gone if we really, really needed it.

“But it’s not worth it right now,” Campbell said.

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The Lions are counting on Swift to be their lead back in a time share along with Jamaal Williams. Williams had nine carries for 15 yards against the Bills, playing most of the first quarter.

“If a guy gets a hot hand, it’s hard to take a guy out,” Campbell said  “Like for example, Jamaal goes, he gets a hot hand, well, we still can use Swift. You can put him in there, give Jamaal a blow, but also, we can put Swift in other spots. There’s things that he’s able to do we believe in the pass game. So, there’s other maybe trinkets that we do with him.”

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The Lions have eight running backs on their 90-man roster, though that number could shrink by 4 p.m. Tuesday, when the team has to cut to 85 players.

Defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike will practice Monday on a limited basis, Campbell said, for the first time since the first week of camp.

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The Lions shut down Onwuzurike, their second-round pick, in early August with a back injury. Onwuzurike visited several back specialists, and Campbell said doctors are confident he will be able to play this fall.

“He will get in a couple of team reps and then we’ll start to progress him,” Campbell said. “So hopefully then tomorrow he gets a little bit more and we’re on the up and up. So this is kind of the week we were waiting on Levi to start rolling here. Everything checked out, so it’s time to get him his work.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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