By Chris Morgan
Last week, there were worries that wide receiver Calvin Johnson would not be able to play against the Cleveland Browns. However, he managed to play, albeit in a limited fashion, and the Lions won. This week, the Lions are hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. This is a big game for both teams, and fortunately it looks like the Lions may be better off in terms of their health this week.
Wide receiver Nate Burleson is still out with his broken arm, and tight end Tony Scheffler is looking doubtful due to the concussion he suffered. Fortunately for Detroit, they have Joseph Fauria, who scored three touchdowns last week in place of Scheffler, so there isn’t much worry there. Everybody else that is on the injury report is currently listed as questionable. Running back Theo Riddick is questionable with a concussion, while offensive tackle Jason Fox has a groin injury, and he missed practice Wednesday. However, neither of these players are key contributors.
Johnson is on the injury report again with his knee injury, but he was able to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday, which is encouraging. He was able to play last week, so he likely will be able to play this week. The Lions may need more from him this time around, as Fauria isn’t likely to catch three touchdowns again.
Also on the injury report on offense is running back Joique Bell, who has a rib injury. However, he was able to practice fully on Wednesday, which is good. Reggie Bush is of course the lead running back for this team, but Bell is a good backup, and he sort of does the same things Bush does. If Bell can’t play, Mikel Leshoure may actually get some playing time, but he is a different kind of player.
On defense, a couple players in Detroit’s secondary are, once again, on the injury report. Louis Delmas is listed as questionable as per usual due to his knee, and he didn’t practice on Wednesday. Still, this is business as usual, so expect him to play. Additionally, Rashean Mathis has a groin injury, but he was able to practice this week. It seems likely he will be able to play, which is beneficial for a somewhat shallow defensive back corps.
Additionally, running back Montell Owens returned to practice after being removed from the short-term injured reserve list due to his knee injury. He likely won’t be able to contribute this week, but perhaps he will be able to do so in the near future.
It would seem that the Lions are looking pretty safe this week in terms of injuries. This, of course, presumes Johnson and Delmas can play, which seems likely. It is possible one of these questionable players won’t be able to play against Cincinnati, but right now, it looks like all the key pieces will be in place
- Wide receiver Nate Burleson (arm)
- Tight end Tony Scheffler (concussion)
- Running back Joique Bell (rib)
- Safety Louis Delmas (knee)
- Offensive tackle Jason Fox (groin)
- Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee)
- Cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin)
- Theo Reddick (concussion
For more Lions news and updates, visit Lions Central.
Chris Morgan has been a diehard Detroit Lions fan through the good (Barry Sanders) and the bad (Matt Millen) and that love has led him to take jobs writing about sports, including as a fantasy sports “expert.” His work can be found on Examiner.com. .