Lions Injury News: Sam LaPorta OPTIMISTIC He Plays Sunday, Lions vs. Rams, Stafford Return

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The Detroit Lions were back on the practice field on Thursday as they continue to prepare to take on the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round of the 2023-24 playoffs. The Lions were able to return several players to practice today, including veteran offensive linemen, Frank Ragnow, Taylor Decker, and Graham Glasgow. While rookie tight end Sam LaPorta got in some post-practice work with Jared Goff.

NOTE: Any changes from last week’s injury report will be bolded.

No practice
QB Teddy Bridgewater (personal)
WR Kalif Raymond (knee)
TE Sam LaPorta (knee)
CB Jerry Jacobs (thigh/knee) — downgraded
LaPorta was technically a non-participant in Thursday’s practice, but he revealed to the media afterward that he got some work in after practice.

“I got some reps today at practice, starting to feel better day-by-day, and see where it takes me tomorrow,” LaPorta said. Really just taking it a day at a time. When it first happened, it didn’t feel great, and I feel like I’ve started to bounce back quickly. We’ll see.”

Adding shortly thereafter, “Yeah, I’m optimistic.”

When asked to clarify what work he got in, here’s what he said:

“I was taking the same blocking reps that we do in our individual drill. I was getting reps of those. Ran some routes with Jared (Goff),” LaPorta said.

Bridgewater absence is listed as personal. There is no other information out at this time.

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Raymond continues to miss practice as expected. It seems like a longshot that he will be ready to play by Sunday and the Lions have already been considering alternative punt returner options.

“For us, it’ll be the best player for our football team that we have available to us to use that we think can also manage the roles,” special teams coordinator Dave Fipp told the media. “So, guys like (Amon-Ra) St. Brown, could he do that? It’s possible. He’s been an emergency returner for us all season long. Obviously, we’ve got Donovan (Peoples-Jones) who did it in Cleveland, so that could be an option. And then you’ve got (Maurice) Mo Alexander on the practice squad if we’re able to get him up, he’d be a great option. He’s a great player. So, anyway, it’ll be one of those.”

Jacobs was listed on the injury report on Wednesday as limited due to a thigh injury and a knee injury was added to the list today. While his absence from practice the following day is not unusual, he took to social media to tweet out a message thanking Detroit—which is a bit cryptic, considering roster spots are at a premium.

Thank You Detroit

— Jerry Jacobs (@_luhjerry) January 11, 2024
Before we get the cart ahead of the horse, it’s important to note that at this time, Jacobs is still on the roster and there have been no obvious indications that he is in jeopardy of being released—though a move to injured reserve could end his season. We will be tracking this situation if anything unfolds.

Limited practice
TE James Mitchell (hand) — NEW INJURY
It’s not exactly great timing for Mitchell to have an injury with LaPorta’s status up in the air and Brock Wright returning from injury this week, but we’ll have to wait and see if the second-year tight end is in danger of missing Sunday’s game or if this is a relatively minor injury.

Full practice
C Frank Ragnow (toe/back/knee/rest)
LT Taylor Decker (rest)
RG Graham Glasgow (rest)
WR Jameson Williams (ankle)
TE Brock Wright (hip)
DT John Cominsky (illness)
EDGE James Houston (ankle, IR) — evaluation days remaining: 7
CB Cameron Sutton (toe/heel)
DB Brian Branch (wrist)
After taking a rest day on Wednesday, Ragnow, Decker, and Glasgow all returned to practice on Thursday. Ragnow is still managing multiple injuries but he has played through them weekly.

Williams and Wright continue to trend in the right direction after missing last week’s game. Wright could play a pivotal role if LaPorta is unable to play this week.

Cominsky continues to battle through an illness but getting in practice is a good sign.

Rams injury report
Note: starters are bolded.

Did not practice

OL Joe Noteboom (foot)
LB Troy Reeder (knee)
FS Jordan Fuller (ankle)
Limited practice

TE Tyler Higbee (shoulder)
RG Kevin Dotson (shoulder)
Full practice

RT Rob Havenstein (rest)
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