Report: Lions’ Houston fractured ankle, could be sidelined eight weeks

Detroit News

Allen Park — Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell noted after Sunday’s game against Seattle that linebacker James Houston would likely be out “a little while” with the ankle injury he suffered during the contest. According to an NFL Network report Monday morning, Houston has a fractured ankle that could sideline him up to two months.

That injury will be a blow to Detroit’s pass rush, which has struggled to get to the quarterback through the first two games of the season, recording just one sack. Houston, a sixth-round draft pick in 2022, racked up 8.0 sacks in seven games as a rookie.

The Lions are deep on the edge, but Houston is the second player they’ve lost in the past few days after Josh Paschal landed on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered during Thursday’s practice.

Starters Aidan Hutchinson and Charles Harris have been shouldering much of the early-season workload, with Hutchinson on the field for more than 92% of the team’s defensive snaps through two weeks. The remaining rotation is rounded out by John Cominsky and Romeo Okwara, who was a healthy scratch in Week 1, but figures to have an increasingly larger role the next few weeks to backfill Paschal and Houston’s snaps.

The Lions are also scheduled to get Julian Okwara back in the coming weeks. He began the season on injured reserve, but will be eligible to return to action for Detroit’s Week 5 game against Carolina on Oct. 8.

In the short term, the Lions could promote Raymond Johnson III off the team’s practice squad. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder appeared in 15 games for the New York Giants in 2021.

Twitter/X: @Justin_Rogers

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