Allen Park — This deep into the season, the Detroit Lions are as close to full strength as a team could hope to be heading into Sunday’s matchup with Jacksonville. The Lions ruled out just two players — guard Evan Brown and defensive end Julian Okwara — on an otherwise clean injury report.
The continued absence of Brown, who is dealing with an ankle injury, will sting. He had been performing well filling in for starter Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right guard, prior to suffering an ankle injury. That will leave the Lions to lean on a third-string option once again. That spot will either go to Dan Skipper or Kayode Awosika, who each started on Thanksgiving with left guard Jonah Jackson (concussion) also out of the lineup.
Jackson has been cleared to return this week, as has cornerback Jeff Okudah, who suffered a concussion in the team’s Nov. 20 game against the New York Giants. Also set to return to the lineup for the Lions is rookie defensive lineman Josh Paschal, who missed the past two contests with a knee injury.
The only lingering questions heading into the weekend are the status of defensive end Romeo Okwara and rookie receiver Jameson Williams. Both remain on injured reserve having just recently returned to practice. Earlier in the week, coach Dan Campbell said it would be a “tall order” for either to suit up against the Jaguars, but he still wasn’t prepared to rule either player out Friday morning.
“I know (Williams) looked better yesterday than he did the day before, and I anticipate he’ll look a little better today. And so, he and Romeo both, they’re just getting their legs back under them.”
The Lions have until 4 p.m. Saturday to decide to activate either or both for Sunday’s game.