Detroit Lions' Injury Report catches fans up on the latest news from the infirmary.
With the season winding down, the Detroit Lions are starting to catch up on the injuries. Though Christmas came this week, good tidings were not to be found on the practice field, as plenty of starters sat out Thursday practice and might be poised to miss the final game of the season.
The team did get two mainstays back, however, which was a bit of good news prior to Sunday's game. Either way, there seems to be no shortage of "bah" and "humbug" alike with regards to several injuries as the team prepares to finish the 2013 season in Minneapolis.
Calvin Johnson, WR. Knee injury. Armchair prognosis: Will play but shouldn't. Impact: Significant.
- Forget about the fantasy football playoffs for a minute and consider the long-term impact of the Lions' playing an unhealthy Johnson, who was dinged up and unproductive last week in an important game. Rumblings have suggested the wide receiver is playing with a serious knee injury. If that's the case, the Lions should probably sit him down to get a jump-start on his recovery for a very important 2014 season. Consider it Jim Schwartz's possible going away present to fans. Still, it seems Johnson will play and Schwartz will stick him in if ready, even as a decoy. Still, Johnson remains a game time decision.
LaAdrian Waddle, OT. Ankle injury. Armchair prognosis: Will not play. Impact: Significant.
- A bright spot for the Lions this season has been the play of the offensive line, specifically Riley Reiff, Larry Warford, and Waddle, who left Sunday's game and didn't look good in the process. He sat out practice on Thursday, casting serious doubt over his availability for the game on Sunday. The Lions could probably get by without Waddle, but it won't be easy, considering the Vikings can rush the passer quite well.
DeAndre Levy, LB. Foot injury. Armchair prognosis: Will play. Impact: Significant.
- Levy is becoming the ultimate gamer on the defense, and playing at a high level even when hobbled. He had a nice game against the Giants last weekend collecting seven tackles. Don't expect Levy not to play in the finale, and he's already proven he can push through the pain when needed.
Chris Houston, CB. Toe injury. Armchair prognosis: Will not play. Impact: Mildly significant.
- Houston didn't play last week, and don't expect him to see the field this week if he's not completely healthy. Darius Slay was a limited practice participant, and there's a chance if ready, Slay could see the field before Houston first. The Lions' secondary has done a decent job in the absence of their two top players led by Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood, so there might not be any rush on Houston or Slay, considering Minnesota's passing offense is only 22nd in the league.
- Bell and Delmas returned to practice albeit in a limited role, which was still good news for the Lions, who could ill-afford to lose either at their various positions. Given each managed to get a late week practice in, expect to see them in action on Sunday afternoon. Expect both to play their usual, steady roles for the team. Slay, meanwhile, might continue to be eased back in considering his knee surgery and the team's depth at corner, which was on display against New York.