James Houston still not designated to return from I.R.

USA Today

C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Jason Cabinda have been practicing with the Detroit Lions for the last few days. The team started the 21-day clock on their return from injured reserve on Wednesday of last week, and they could be activated in time for Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Another player on injured reserve has yet to have his return window opened. EDGE James Houston is still unable to practice or prove he’s healthy enough for the Lions to designate him to return. That is in spite of head coach Dan Campbell indicating on Tuesday, “there’s a good chance we start Houston’s clock”.

Houston suffered a fractured ankle and high ankle sprain in Week 2, September 17th, while playing special teams. It’s a significant injury that typically sidelines players for at least four months; Dak Prescott, Drake London and Jaylen Waddle are all examples of the same injury in recent times, as noted by Dr. Jimmy Liao here:

While there is optimism from both inside and outside the organization on Houston, and the player himself has expressed his intentions to be back on the field by the end of the regular season, the timeframe isn’t quite matching up. Given how long the Lions typically have returning players ramp up in practice — every I.R. return in the last two seasons has had at least one full week of practice before being activated — if Houston’s clock doesn’t start on Thursday, it seems very unlikely we see him play before the postseason.

Houston burst onto the scene with eight sacks in the final seven games of 2022, his rookie season. He played limited snaps in the first games this year prior to being injured against Seattle, recording one QB hit and one tackle in 31 total snaps.

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