Lions hope to get Swift back next week; rule out 2021 returns for Seibert, Cephus

Detroit News

Allen Park — Dan Campbell ruled out one injured player’s return this season and essentially ruled a second, but the Detroit Lions coach remains optimistic about getting running back D’Andre Swift back in the fold, potentially as soon as next week.

“Right now, I feel like he may be a week away,” Campbell said Friday morning. “I’m hoping that, as a matter of fact. He’s still pretty sore, but he’s getting better, he’s improving. We’ll see where it goes here. We’ll know a lot more tomorrow. You see how he feels day in and day out, but as of right now, he’s pretty tender.”

Campbell had a less cheery outlook for kicker Austin Seibert and wide receiver Quintez Cephus.

Seibert, who has been out the past two weeks, underwent season-ending surgery. Cephus, meanwhile, has been out since suffering a broken clavicle in the team’s Week 5 matchup with Minnesota and is doubtful to see the field again in 2021.

“I think it’ll be highly unlikely, but both of those players we feel very good about in 2022, being healed up and ready to go,” Campbell said.

More: Detroit News scouting report: Lions vs. Vikings

With Seibert out, the Lions initially turned to Ryan Santoso, but he was released after badly botching a game-winning 48-yard field goal attempt in the team’s 16-16 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Santoso was replaced on the roster by Riley Patterson, who was poached off the New England Patriots practice squad. That signing was supplemented by adding veteran Aldrick Rosas on the practice squad. He was the Lions’ choice to go into the team’s matchup with Cleveland two weeks ago, while the rookie Patterson was active for the Thanksgiving matchup with Chicago.

As for Cephus, the the Lions struggled to initially replace his skill set as a big-framed target on the outside, but have since added Josh Reynolds off waivers to help fill that void.

The more immediate concern heading into this week’s rematch with the Vikings is replacing Swift, who has paced the roster with 984 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns.

“Look, it’s not easy to replace a guy like him as dynamic as he’s been,” Campbell said. “I think it really becomes that production is by committee now. Where does Swift’s production go now, to get it back? I would say were trying to find ways to spread it throughout this roster of skill players we do have. Jamaal (Williams) is going to take a lot of that. So will the other two backs, (Jermar) Jefferson and Godwin (Igwebuike). And some of the other pass production is gonna have to come from our receivers and tight ends.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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