Allen Park — Da’Shawn Hand can’t catch a break. For the fifth time in his four-year career, the Detroit Lions defensive lineman is headed to injured reserve.
A fourth-round pick in 2018, Hand has spent time on the injured list each season. He appeared in a career-high 13 games, making eight starts, during a promising rookie season before suffering a knee injury late in the year.
In 2019, an offseason elbow injury sidelined him the first six contests and an ankle injury limited him to just three appearances down the stretch that year. And in 2020, it was groin and ankle injuries that kept him out of action six times.
Hand dropped significant weight and appeared poised for a rebound this year, but a training camp groin strain put him on the shelf for the season’s first seven games. After playing the past three contests, including a career-high 68 defensive snaps in Detroit’s tie with Pittsburgh earlier this month, Hand aggravated the groin injury Sunday against Cleveland.
With his contract expiring at season’s end, it’s looking likely that Hand has suited up for the Lions for the last time.
To fill the roster opening, the Lions signed undrafted rookie offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer off the practice squad.
Temporary elevated last weekend, he replaced Halapoulivaati Vaitai after the starting right guard suffered a concussion in the contest. With Vaitai not cleared to practice through Wednesday, Kraemer is in line to make his first start.
“I thought he did some good things, went in there and didn’t bat an eye,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said about Kraemer’s performance against the Browns. “Yeah, we liked what we saw.
“We like Kraemer,” Campbell said. “He’s kind of a tough, gritty guy and he’s smart. He’s growing, man. We’ve been giving him center reps in practice, so he’s been guard/center. He’s just a good quality dude, man. He comes to work, puts it in. You like him. He’s tough.”