With D’Andre Swift out, Detroit Lions going to use ‘a lot of Jamaal Williams’ vs. Vikings

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions were without several players at practice Wednesday, including two key cogs in their running game.

Right tackle Penei Sewell missed practice with an illness, and running back D’Andre Swift was out with a sprained shoulder that is expected to keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday that Jamaal William, Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson will share the workload at running back in Swift’s absence. Williams has 76 yards rushing on 22 carries the past two weeks after missing two games with a thigh injury.

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“It’s no different than any other injury when you lose a guy who’s been very productive for us, somebody’s got to pick up the slack,” Campbell said. “And the good news is we’ve got Jamaal back. We got him back, and so this’ll be his third week to get back and get in the flow here a little bit, so certainly we’re going to lean on Jamaal quite a bit. But, look, we’re going to use Godwin, we’re going to use Jefferson. That’s part of the plan. They’re all going to be able to play. It’s a little bit by committee, but I think you’re going to see a lot of Jamaal Williams.”

Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (concussion) and swing tackle Matt Nelson (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday after missing last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears with injuries. Nelson will start at right tackle if Sewell can’t play Sunday.

Defensive end Trey Flowers (knee), linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder), cornerback Bobby Price (shoulder) and receiver KhaDarel Hodge (illness) also missed practice Wednesday.

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Quarterback Jared Goff, who missed the Lions’ Week 11 to loss to the Cleveland Browns but played against the Bears last week, was not listed on the Lions’ Wednesday injury report.

Goff said after practice his side is “feeling good.”

“We’re all kind of sore right now, so it’s just kind of, whatever week we’re in, 12, whatever it is, it’s kind of standard for everyone,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m feeling any more than anyone else.”

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Cornerback Jeff Okudah, who has been remained around the team while rehabbing from a torn Achilles tendon, watched practice from the side Wednesday without the aid of a walking boot, crutches or a knee scooter.

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

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