Detroit Lions OG Evan Brown to return vs. Jets, DE Aidan Hutchinson (illness) questionable

Detroit Free Press

A month after he suffered a high ankle sprain at MetLife Stadium, Detroit Lions right guard Evan Brown will return from the injury on the same field.

The Lions did not list Brown with an injury designation on their Friday practice report, clearing him to return to the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Brown was injured Nov. 20 in a win over the New York Giants.

“He looks pretty good right now,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said before practice Friday. “He’s had a good week.”

The Lions have had a revolving door at right guard since Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a season-ending back injury in August. Logan Stenberg opened the season as starter at the position, before Brown took over in Week 3.

Stenberg returned to the starting lineup briefly in Week 5, when Brown was dealing with an ankle injury, and Kayode Awosika started the first two games after Brown’s latest injury. Awosika will miss his second straight game Sunday with an ankle injury. Stenberg made his fourth start of the season last week against the Minnesota Vikings.

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The Lions (6-7) face a Jets team this week that ranks in the top five in most defensive categories and has one of the most disruptive defensive lines in the NFL. Jets coach Robert Saleh said Quinnen Williams, who leads the Jets with 11 sacks, is questionable to play with a calf injury.

Williams’ status aside, Campbell said it is “big” for the Lions to have their starting offensive line intact Sunday with playoff hopes on the line.

“To have the continuity and those guys communicate and working with each other, understand where your leverage is at, all those things I think is big,” Campbell said. “So to get him back, that gives us a little bit of a boost, for sure.”

Along with Awosika, the Lions ruled linebacker Derrick Barnes (knee) out for Sunday and listed defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and cornerback Mike Hughes as questionable with an illness. Hutchinson returned to practice Friday, while Hughes was out for the second straight day.

At least six players have missed practice in the past week because of various bugs going around the practice facility, Campbell said.

Defensive tackle Michael Brockers is doubtful with an illness, and fullback Jason Cabinda is questionable with an ankle injury.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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