On the same day they lost their No. 1 receiver for at least the next three weeks, the Detroit Lions got their first reminder that COVID-19 remains an issue this season.
The Lions placed wide receiver Tyrell Williams on injured reserve Thursday, and placed kicker Austin Seibert on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
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Williams has not practiced since taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jaquiski Tartt in the Lions’ season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He will miss at least the Lions’ next three games.
Seibert’s return depends largely on his vaccination status.
Unvaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 must stay away from the team a minimum of 10 days, while vaccinated players who test positive can rejoin the team, once asymptomatic, by testing negative twice in a span of 24 hours.
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If Seibert cannot play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, the Lions could elevate Ryan Santoso from the practice squad.
Santoso spent the 2018-19 offseasons with the Lions after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.
The Lions already have employed five kickers this season in effort to replace Matt Prater: Seibert, who is 2-for-3 on field goal tries; Santoso, who played for the New York Giants in the preseason, was traded to the Carolina Panthers at the end of training camp, and was on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad last week; and training camp cuts Randy Bullock, Matthew Wright and Zane Gonzalez.
Williams caught two passes for 14 yards against the 49ers before leaving in the third quarter with a brain injury. Lions coach Dan Campbell ruled him out of Sunday’s game against the Ravens earlier this week.
Quintez Cephus is expected to make his second straight start in place of Williams, who missed all of the 2020 season with the Las Vegas Raiders with a shoulder injury.
Outside linebacker Trey Flowers did not practice Thursday because of shoulder and knee injuries. Campbell said Flowers’ availability for Sunday will be determined later this week.