When the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings play Sunday at Ford Field, it could be a battle of backup running backs.
Both Lions running back D’Andre Swift and Vikings running back Dalvin Cook are dealing with shoulder injuries and unlikely to play this week.
Swift sprained his shoulder in the first half of last week’s Thanksgiving loss to the Chicago Bears. Lions coach Dan Campbell said Swift still was “pretty sore” as of Monday afternoon.
“It’s hard to say that you’d see him playing (against the Vikings), but there again, we’ll know a lot more on how he feels tomorrow and then certainly Wednesday,” Campbell said. “But I know he’s hurting a little bit.”
Swift has been the Lions’ best all-purpose offensive player this season. He leads the Lions with 550 yards rushing and six total touchdowns, and is second with 429 yards receiving.
Swift had 130 yards rushing on a career-high 133 carries in the Lions’ Week 10 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a career-best 136 yards on 14 carries a week later in a loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The Lions (0-10-1) have managed Swift’s reps carefully most of the season, after he strained a groin muscle in training camp. He left the Bears game after a 2-yard run early in the second quarter, his third carry of the game.
Jamaal Williams likely will start in Swift’s absence against the Vikings, with Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike playing backup roles off the bench.
Cook, Minnesota’s leading rusher with 773 yards in nine games, has been in and out of the lineup with injuries all year.
Cook did not play in Minnesota’s 19-17 win over the Lions in Week 5 because of a sprained ankle. He reportedly suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Vikings’ weekend loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Alexander Mattison ran for 113 yards on 25 carries against the Lions in Week 5 in Cook’s absence.