Allen Park — Given the way things had been trending through the week, it wasn’t a big surprise when the Detroit Lions announced both of the team’s starting guards won’t suit up for Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
On Wednesday, the Lions ruled out five players, including guards Jonah Jackson and Evan Brown. Additionally, cornerback Jeff Okudah (concussion), defensive end Charles Harris (groin) and defensive lineman Josh Paschal (knee) won’t suit up for the contest, while wide receiver Josh Reynolds (back) is questionable and at risk of missing a fourth consecutive game.
But without question, the biggest concern is along the offensive line, where the Lions will be starting the team’s No. 5 and No. 6 options at guard. That’s because beyond Jackson and Brown, the team remains without Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tommy Kraemer, who are both on injured reserve because of back injuries.
Dan Skipper, who started three games in place of Jackson earlier this year and replaced Brown last week against the Giants, is expected to fill one of the openings, while the other start will likely go to either Logan Stenberg or Kayode Awosika.
To provide some additional depth, the Lions are temporarily elevating offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher off the practice squad. The team is also elevating sixth-round draft pick James Houston, setting up the linebacker to make his pro debut on Thanksgiving.