Detroit Lions enjoying rare good health heading into Sunday’s game vs. Jaguars

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions are getting healthy, just in time for the stretch run.

The Lions ruled Julian Okwara and Evan Brown out for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but did not give any other players game status designations on their Friday injury report.

Okwara suffered an elbow injury in last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, while Brown will miss his second straight game with a sprained ankle.

Jeff Okudah and Jonah Jackson will play Sunday after sitting out against the Bills with brain injuries, and rookie defensive end Josh Paschal is expected back after a two-game absence with a knee injury.

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“I want to be careful saying (this is as healthy as we’ve been in a while), but the same token, it really is,” Campbell said. “(General manager Brad Holmes) and I talked about it early in the year, like, ‘I really feel like we’re going to take our lumps early here just with where everything’s going, but about the time that maybe some other teams are going through what we went through early we start getting healthy late in the season.’ So it is, it’s a good place to be at right now and hopefully it stays that way.”

The Lions dealt with significant injury problems early in the season.

Interior linemen Jackson, Frank Ragnow and Halapoulivaati Vaitai missed time with an assortment of injuries, safety Tracy Walker tore his Achilles tendon and offensive skill players Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds missed one or more games with injuries.

St. Brown, Swift, Chark and Reynolds were full participants in practice every day this week.

“I felt like training camp a couple of days ago cause I had so many guys out there,” receivers coach Antwaan Randle El joked.

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Randle El said having a full compliment of skill players makes the Lions offense more dangerous. Chark has missed six games with ankle injuries this season, Reynolds played only eight snaps in November because of a back injury, Swift has battled shoulder and ankle injuries most of the season and St. Brown missed one game with a sprained ankle and most of another while in concussion protocol.

“You can call a game differently,” Randle El said. “Not that it’s bad when those — completely bad when those guys are out, it’s just you’ve got to call it differently and set it up differently. But it’s good to have them back cause you can tell, you can see the unity, the continuity.”

Jackson and Okudah were full participants in practice Friday after being limited while in concussion protocol Wednesday and Thursday. Paschal also was a full participant for the first time this week on Friday.

“We see him going,” Campbell said. “He’s had a good week.”

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

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