By Chris Morgan
The Detroit Lions have a short week after playing on Monday Night Football. To make matters worse, they lost that game, a crucial blow dealt to them by the Baltimore Ravens. Detroit's playoff chances are essentially dead, but a glimmer of hope remains. However, the Lions definitely have to win their last two games for that to happen, and that begins this Sunday against the Giants. The Lions are at home, but which players may be too injured to play?
There is some good news in the secondary for the Lions. Cornerback Chris Houston missed the Ravens game, a loss they certainly felt, but his foot injury seems to be improving. Houston was able to practice Wednesday, albeit in a limited fashion. Some practice is better than none, and Houston seems to be headed in the right direction, barring a setback.
Meanwhile, cornerback Darius Slay was able to run a bit at practice as he recovers from knee surgery. It seems very unlikely he would be able to play this week, but perhaps he will return in the final game of the year. Safety Louis Delmas also sat out practice to rest his knee, as per usual. Nothing to see here.
The same goes for wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who also routinely rests his knee during the week. Maybe he can spend his downtime working on catching the ball when it hits him square in the hands.
There is more concern about the status of tight end Brandon Pettigrew. He injured his ankle against the Ravens and could not return to the game, and he did not practice Wednesday. If he can't play, you could see more of Joseph Fauria, but he is a pretty limited player. He can't really provide the blocking that Pettigrew does, as Fauria is mostly a receiver. It seems kind of bleak for Pettigrew's chances at the moment, but there is still the potential for him to play.
Linebacker DeAndre Levy, who is having a great year, missed Wednesday's practice with a foot injury. This is a new injury, so it needs to be monitored, and the Lions do not have depth at linebacker. Lastly, punter Sam Martin sat out practice with a groin injury. This is a concern, because teams don't carry two punters, and Martin also usually handles kickoffs. David Akers ended up kicking off against the Ravens after Martin hurt himself, but Martin continued to punt. That seems like it may be the worst-case scenario.
Detroit has some injury questions on defense, clearly, and they may also be without Pettigrew. Houston returning would be big, but if Levy, in turn, can't play, they are sort of back to square one. The Lions are in must win mode. All hands need to be on deck.
- Safety Louis Delmas (knee)
- Cornerback Chris Houston (foot)
- Wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee)
- Linebacker DeAndre Levy (foot)
- Punter Sam Martin (groin)
- Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle)
- 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. .
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