Lions’ Tracy Walker suffers potential Achilles injury in loss to Vikings: ‘It doesn’t look real good’

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions lost two key defensive players to Achilles tendon injuries last season, and the unit is bracing for bad news on the injury front again.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said safety Tracy Walker suffered an ankle or Achilles tendon injury in the first half of Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Walker, who is scheduled to undergo further testing Monday to determine the extent of the injury, suffered a non-contact injury with just over 6 minutes to play in the first quarter, when he planted to run forward while trying to make a play on a short run by Dalvin Cook.

The Lions’ leading tackler entering the game, Walker grabbed at his lower left leg as he sat on the field being tended to by trainers, as Campbell looked on. He limped slowly to the sideline under his own power, and was quickly carted to the locker room after a brief examination in the bench area.

“We don’t know entirely,” Campbell said. “We’ll know more in the morning. It doesn’t look real good. Obviously, it’s theankle area, possibly could be the Achilles. We’ll see. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Walker signed a three-year, $25 million deal to stay with the Lions in free agency this spring.

Last year, the Lions lost cornerback Jeff Okudah to a ruptured Achilles tendon in the season opener, and defensive end Romeo Okwara to a torn Achilles a month later. Okudah has started every game and been the Lions’ best cornerback this season, while Okwara has yet to return from his injury.

On Sunday, Juju Hughes replaced Walker and finished with eight tackles, but the Lions had several major communication breakdowns in their secondary, including on Kirk Cousins’ game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn with 45 seconds to play.

“Nobody’s hear to throw anybody under the bus,” said slot cornerback Mike Hughes, the nearest defender on Osborn’s touchdown. “We all just got to be on the same page. There was some miscommunication, but like I said, we’ll clean it up and I think we showed we can play with anybody. Once we’re all on the same page for the most part, I think we’ll be all right.”

Asked about Walker’s absence in the secondary, Hughes said, “We obviously missed him, but it’s always next-man-up mentality. We always preach that, so shit like that happens and it’s the NFL, so nobody’s going to feel sorry for you, got to go in or change up the play calling. So we all just got to know what we’re doing and we’ll be all right.”

More injuries

D’Andre Swift finished with seven carries for 31 yards Sunday, his second straight game with 10 or fewer rushes since spraining his ankle in the first half of the Lions’ season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Swift also appeared to get treatment on his left shoulder after the game, which he used gingerly in the locker room.

“Kind of the same as last week,” Swift said when asked about his injuries after the game. “But I keep getting better. It’s better than last week, so just keep pushing forward, keep getting treatment on it and I’ll be all right.”

Lions receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds also left Sunday’s game with minor ankle injuries. St. Brown, who finished with six catches for 73 yards, falling just short of his ninth straight game with eight or more receptions, got his ankle taped on the sideline and returned to the game.

Reynolds, who led the Lions with 96 yards receiving on six catches, also returned to the game after his injury, but had his ankle wrapped in the locker room.

Hips don’t lie

With Swift hobbled – he left the game briefly in the second half after getting hit on his ankle – Jamaal WIlliams finished with a game-high 20 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns.

Williams was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after his second score, when he celebrated with a hip-thrusting dance modeled after the Key & Peele sketch character Hingle McCringleberry.

“I’ve been doing that (dance) forever,” Williams said. “They didn’t give me no explanation. They probably was just jealous of my hip movements. But I’ve never got a flag for that ever, now I got to fugure out what I got to do.”

Williams said Sunday’s penalty won’t cause him to re-think his touchdown dance going forward.

“Hell nah,” he said. “I’m going to do it, I’m just going to hit one (hip thrust). Hit one and go to something else real quick.”

Articles You May Like

Five things to watch: Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
‘Sunday Night Football’ open thread: Colts at Cowboys
Southern Cal, Riley headed to Cotton Bowl to play Tulane
ESPN under-25 list includes one Detroit Lions player, snubs another
Detroit Lions fans’ confidence in team direction remains high, despite loss to Bills

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *