By Chris Morgan
The last time the Detroit Lions were playing, they were being bombarded by snow and LeSean McCoy en route to a loss that dropped them to 7-6. Now, their backs are against the wall, and they can’t afford many more losses, if any, but at least they are at home this week. More than that, they get an extra day to get ready, as they are playing the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. The added day of rest could be valuable too, as Detroit has a few key players currently dealing with injury.
Starting on a positive note, however, wide receiver Calvin Johnson actually practiced on Thursday. He was limited, but Johnson has been resting midweek for knee maintenance all season. The fact that he is practicing at all is a good sign. There is no reason to worry about Megatron at the moment. Additionally, offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle was also limited with an elbow injury. He seems likely to play. If he doesn’t, Jason Fox will likely start in his place.
Several players missed practice on Thursday altogether. Cornerback Darius Slay recently has knee surgery, and isn’t expected back unless the Lions make the playoffs. Given how shallow Detroit’s secondary is, that is concerning. To make matters worse, cornerback Chris Houston also missed practice with a toe injury. He played last week, so there seems to be a good chance he will be able to go this week, which will be huge for the Lions. They can’t afford to not have Houston and Slay.
A couple more players on defense are questionable this week. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah missed practice with a shoulder injury, while safety Louis Delmas was out to rest his knee as per usual. Delmas will play, but Ansah is more up in the air. This is a new injury, but there is not talk it is serious, and that added day of rest will help. Ansah missed some time earlier this year, at which point Devin Taylor, a fellow rookie, stepped in. Defensive end Israel Idonije also missed practice with a knee injury, but his role with the team is less significant.
Lastly, there is Reggie Bush. Before Sunday’s game against the Eagles, Bush strained his calf injury because of the slippery, snowy conditions. He did not practice, but he is also saying he intends to play on Monday. Given the weather on Sunday, Bush likely wouldn’t have played much anyway, but he will definitely be needed against the Ravens. It seems like Bush will be able to give it a go, but there is reason for some concern.
So while the Lions seem like they are good to go on offense for this crucial game, the defense could be a different story. The Lions will have to hope they get enough players ready to score the win in a nationally televised primetime game.
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder)
Running back Reggie Bush (calf)
Safety Louis Delmas (knee)
Cornerback Chris Houston (toe)
Defensive end Israel Idonije (knee)
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee)
Offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle (elbow)
Cornerback Darius Slay (knee)
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. .