Jerry Jacobs not in concussion protocol; Jonah Jackson, Jeff Okudah should play vs. Jaguars

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions got good news on the injury front when it comes to three players who were dealing with head injuries.

First, contrary to initial reports, Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs is not in concussion protocol. Jacobs experienced lightheadedness in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, and did not return. He was not made available to the media after the game, and coach Dan Campbell suggested he may enter protocol.

But on Monday, Campbell confirmed that that never happened and Jacobs is well on his way to recovery.

“Jerry’s not in protocol,” Campbell said. “So he’s good.”

Both starting left guard Jonah Jackson and starting cornerback Jeff Okudah missed Thursday’s game, as they were in concussion protocol. However, Campbell said both have since progressed to Stage 3 (of 5) of the NFL’s concussion protocol and are expected to play this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as long as they don’t suffer any setbacks.

“Provided there’s no setback, I think it’s optimistic to have Jonah and Okudah (this week),” Campbell said.

Okudah suffered a blow to the head early in Week 12’s game against the New York Giants, but tweeted in the middle of the game that he was “good.” However, there was simply not enough time in the NFL’s concussion protocol for him to clear to play against the Bills. So it’s no surprise that he will be back. But he—along with Jacobs—will be a welcome addition for a secondary that has struggled all year. Both Okudah and Jacobs have provided the most consistent play at the outside cornerback position all season.

Things were a little less certain for Jackson, who developed symptoms throughout last week, causing his initial diagnosis of “illness” on the injury report to be later changed to “concussion.”

His return, too, will be a big relief for the Lions offensive line. Detroit’s guards have taken a lot of hits this season. With starting right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai landing on IR before Week 1 due to a back injury that required surgery. Top reserve Tommy Kraemer is also on IR with a back injury, while the next reserve, Evan Brown, missed last week with an ankle injury. Against the Bills, those absences were notable, as Buffalo notched seven tackles for loss, 10 quarterbacks and two sacks—including a costly safety.

On Monday, Lions starting center Frank Ragnow noted just how much of a difference Jackson will make—but also how much of a relief it is to know that he’s doing well after a concussion.

“Just personally, a concussion is scary and you just want him to be okay as a person,” Ragnow said. “So that’s great news. And, yeah, he’s a heck of player as you guys have seen. Obviously, he had the Pro Bowl last year and this year he’s playing at a real high level, so it’ll be huge for us.”

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