Why Dan Campbell is not worried about Aidan Hutchinson’s missed practice time

Detroit Free Press

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Aidan Hutchinson returned to practice Friday for the first time since suffering a bruised right thigh against the Washington Commanders and is on track to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Hutchinson, the No. 2 pick of April’s NFL draft, did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of an injury he suffered in the second half of the Washington game.

Lions coach Dan Campbell downplayed Hutchinson’s absence from practice this week and how it might impact the rookie’s availability or performance against the Vikings.

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“I mean, certainly you want guys practicing,” Campbell said. “It’s always better to practice, so you get the looks, the live looks, but I’m not concerned because he’s, mentally, he’s in it. He’s a visual learner. He’ll be able to see it, and there again, he’ll run around today and they’ll work some of (our pass rush) games and things of that nature and our fits. And so, I don’t feel like it’s concerning. It’s always better if you can practice, though, to get it real and live.”

Hutchinson has seven tackles on the season and leads the Lions (1-1) with three sacks through two games. He said he was “feeling good” after practice Friday and watched more film than usual this week to compensate for his lack of practice.

“I think come game time I don’t think we’ll be thinking about that,” he said.

Left guard Jonah Jackson missed his fifth straight practice Friday with a finger injury and will not play against the Vikings, meaning the Lions will start two backup guards — potentially Logan Stenberg and Dan Skipper — for the second straight week. And safety Tracy Walker remains out for non-injury reasons.

D’Andre Swift hobbled through the open portion of practice Friday on his ankle injury, and Campbell said center Frank Ragnow is trending toward returning from his toe injury after missing the Commanders game.

“I don’t want to go that far (and say he will play) yet,” Campbell said. “I mean, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. I would say it’s trending that way, but yet we want to see how he does today and then we’ll wake up tomorrow and see where he’s at. But certainly, if he can come back, it certainly helps. It’d be good to get him back.”

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