Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown clears concussion protocol, active vs. Dolphins

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has cleared concussion protocol and will return to the lineup Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

St. Brown practiced on a limited basis all week, but was placed in concussion protocol when officials removed him from the first quarter of last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys after he showed balance issues following a hit to the head.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said St. Brown never was diagnosed with a brain injury and passed concussion testing on the sideline, but the NFL modified its concussion protocol this season to add ataxia − coordination issues that could result from a brain injury − to the list of symptoms that require a player’s removal from the game.

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St. Brown led the Lions (1-5) with 23 catches for 253 yards in the season’s first three games, but has played sparingly because of injury in recent weeks.

He suffered a high ankle sprain in the Lions’ Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and sat out the following week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. He had 18 yards receiving in limited use the following week against the New England Patriots, and played 10 snaps last week against the Cowboys.

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Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said this week he was looking forward to the return of St. Brown and running back D’Andre Swift, who is back in the lineup against the Dolphins after missing the past three games with a sprained shoulder.

“They’re issues for defensive coordinators, so the quicker we can get both of those guys to full health, the better off we’re going to be,” Johnson said. “And we’ll get back to where we started this season for sure because both of those guys, you get the ball in their hands and they’re dynamite.”

The Lions will be without defensive starters DeShon Elliott (finger) and Charles Harris (groin) because of injuries. Backups Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle), Chase Lucas (ankle), Mike Hughes (knee) and Matt Nelson (calf) also are out, and defensive lineman Michael Brockers is inactive for the second straight game.

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

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