Lions injury updates: 8 players miss Wednesday’s practice

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions have released their Wednesday injury report ahead of their Week 7 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, and despite coming off a bye, they still have a whopping eight players not practicing to open the week.

“Injury-wise, we’re a little bit better,” coach Dan Campbell said on Monday. “I don’t know how far along we’ll be until Wednesday, but I know everyone feels a little bit better. How much? We’ll see.”

It’s not uncommon for the Lions to sit this many people on Wednesday—they had 10 players sit out the last two Wednesday practices—as they often bring minor injuries along over the next two days of practice. But how many of those players have minor vs. major injuries likely won’t be revealed until more practices happen.

Reserve lists

  • FB Jason Cabinda (ankle, PUP): eligible to return at any time
  • WR Jameson Williams (ACL, NFI): eligible to return at any time
  • WR Quintez Cephus (foot, IR): eligible to return in Week 10 (story link)
  • RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (back, IR): eligible to return at any time
  • OL Tommy Kraemer (back, IR): eligible to return at any time
  • EDGE Romeo Okwara (Achilles, PUP): eligible to return at any time
  • DL Levi Onwuzurike (back, IR): had back surgery last week and his season is over

On Monday when Campbell announced that Onwuzurike had surgery to fix a disc in his back and will miss the remainder of the season. Campbell called losing him a “gut punch” but clarified the surgery was a “last resort” that they needed to pursue in order to help him recover.

The rest of the injured players on the reserves list remain “on track” but none of them are expected to begin their 21-day evaluation window this week, though Campbell did point out that “Cabinda’s coming in a hurry” and appears close to return.

Campbell was asked directly about Romeo Okwara and his potential to play this season.

“Yeah, that’s the plan,” Campbell explained. “And he is progressing. He’s doing a good job. There again, the Achilles just happened at a different rate, but he’s doing a good job and you guys know Rome (Romeo Okwara). I mean he puts in the work now, but it’s coming. It’s just when he’s ready, he’ll be out there.”

Players in the 21-day evaluation window

  • EDGE Josh Paschal (sports hernia, PUP): Day 15
  • CB Jerry Jacobs (ACL, PUP): Day 15

Campbell also updated the players currently working within the 21-day evaluation list.

“Paschal had another good week last week,” Campbell said. “I know we only had a couple of practices, but he’s put two weeks (in), back-to-back, has been pretty good. So we’ll see where he’s at.”

It’s possible Paschal will see game action this Sunday, but it feels 50/50 at this time. Jacobs on the other hand, “continues to get better,” and very much appears like he is ready to return this week, but how much, and where, he contributes is still to be determined.

“The good news about Jerry is,” Campbell said, “when he’s physically ready, you know you can take him to the game because he’s going to help on special teams immediately. And so now you’ve got him to the game, and now you sprinkle him in outside or maybe we do feel good at nickel. But look, he brings value to the roster at a minimum just to have on gameday because he does so many things.”

No practice on Wednesday

  • WR DJ Chark (ankle) — was not expected to practice
  • WR Josh Reynolds (knee) — NEW injury (previously ankle), did play in Week 5
  • LT Taylor Decker (personal) — his wife is due to have a baby soon
  • OT Matt Nelson (calf)
  • EDGE Charles Harris (groin)
  • LB Chris Board (knee) — downgraded, did play in Week 5
  • CB Bobby Price (knee) — NEW, did play in Week 5
  • S Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle) — NEW, injured in Week 5

Chark was not expected to practice on Wednesday as the team continues to run tests on his surgically repaired ankle. Things do not look too optimistic at this time.

Reynolds has been nursing an ankle injury since Week 3 but now he is listed with a knee injury, which can’t be good news. Reynolds did finish last week’s game against New England Patriots (playing 91 percent of snaps), but he was clearly hobbled by the end of the contest.

Decker’s wife is expecting their first child any day now and it is presumed that he is with her at this time.

Nelson missed last game with a calf injury and his continued absence is not ideal. The Lions all but eliminated the sixth offensive lineman option against the Patriots, which negatively impacted their run game.

Harris was injured the Thursday ahead of Week 5 and has not been able to practice since. His absence could be problematic, but it’s also possible the Lions get help at defensive end this week, if Paschal and/or John Cominsky are able to return.

Board has been nursing a knee injury for a few weeks now but has been able to play through it. It’s not clear if the ankle is limiting his ability to contribute on defense or if he is being phased out with the new defensive approach. He’s one of the best special teams players in the league, so hopefully, this is just a veteran rest day.

Price did play in Week 5 but has dealt with some injuries this season. Not much more is known about his status at this time.

Melifonwu played last game but was injured and exited early. He was never officially ruled out, but I don’t believe he returned after being injured. We will have to see if this is rest or a potentially long-term issue.

Limited practice

  • RB D’Andre Swift (ankle, shoulder) — upgrade from no practice the previous 2 weeks
  • C Frank Ragnow (foot) — downgrade from full practice in Week 5
  • DL John Cominsky (wrist) — upgrade from no practice the previous 3 weeks
  • CB Will Harris (groin) — NEW, injured in Week 5

Swift is finally back on the practice field, which is a nice first step to him playing again. After missing two games, it’s still to be determined if he will be able to play this Sunday, and he will be worth monitoring.

Ragnow has been dealing with his foot injury since Week 2. Though he only missed one game, he has clearly been limited by the injury for the past month.

“It’s been frustrating,” Ragnow said last week of his lingering injury. “I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not making any excuses or anything, it’s just been frustrating.”

Cominsky suffered a wrist surgery in Week 3 and has not been able to practice since, though he was running with trainers in Week 5, which is typically the first step to returning from injury. On Monday, Campbell said: “Cominsky, it looks pretty promising for him” to return this week.

Will Harris injured his groin in Week 5 and was unable to return to the game, so getting in some practice on Wednesday is an encouraging sign. He remains in competition with Amani Oruwariye—and possibly Jacobs, if he is removed from PUP—for a starting job opposite Jeff Okudah.

Full practice

  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle)

St. Brown told the media on Monday that his ankle was feeling better, but also acknowledged that these types of injuries tend to linger. He would go on to say that as long as he continues to improve each week, he expects to be fine. Him being a full participant is a great sign the injury isn’t bothering him much.

No longer listed with an injury

  • TE T.J. Hockenson (hip)
  • LG Jonah Jackson (finger)
  • G Kayode Awosika (hamstring)
  • RG Evan Brown (ankle)

Cowboys injury report

Here’s a look at the Cowboys’ initial injury report:

Coming soon.

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