The last two weeks have been tough for the Detroit Lions’ defense. Forced to play without the services of many key defensive players, the Lions have been victimized to the tune of 863 total yards in their last two contests. The Lions’ postseason hopes are still alive, but they will be dimmed if the Lions don’t get healthy soon.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has headlined the missing Lions, but will return from suspension this Sunday against Oakland. Hopefully Suh has a good week of practice and can perform at a high level Sunday without committing careless personal fouls. The flags are a different story however, and for now, Lions fans are happy to see Suh back on the field.
While Suh will certainly return to action this week, it is far more uncertain for other Lions, especially in the secondary. This week’s injury report lists both of the Lions’ starting safeties as well as their top three corners.
Now, down to the details.
CB Chris Houston
The Lions’ best cover corner says that he will play this week and backed it up by practicing on Wednesday. I consider Houston probable for Sunday barring a setback.
S Louis Delmas
Delmas was held out of practice again Wednesday for the knee injury that has kept him out of the last two games. It is still too early to predict whether the Lions’ safety will play, but I’ll say he is somewhere between questionable and doubtful.
CB Eric Wright
Wright was held out of Wednesday’s practice for a hamstring injury he sustained last week. The Lions have not said much about his injury so call him questionable for Sunday.
CB Aaron Berry
Berry injured his shoulder last week and did not practice Wednesday. Consider him questionable along with Wright. If the two corners do not play, expect more playing time for Alphonso Smith.
S Amari Spievey
Spievey practiced Wednesday, and although he was limited, I don’t see his knee hampering him this week.
LB Justin Durant
Durant first missed time this year with a concussion, and now is battling a bad hamstring. He didn’t practice Wednesday, and considering hamstring injuries are rarely an easy recovery, mark him down as questionable at best.
DE Lawrence Jackson
Jackson has a thigh injury, which probably means he has a deep thigh bruise. These types of injuries can be tricky, so I see Jackson as questionable for Sunday.
DT Nick Fairley
Fairley aggravated his foot injury last game, so it was encouraging to see him practice Wednesday. He was limited, so don’t pencil him in the lineup just yet, but still consider Fairley probable this week.
RB Kevin Smith
Smith missed Wednesday’s practice, and since he was out of the NFL until week 12 this year, I don’t see him making a speedy recovery. Unless he practices fully at some point this week, he’s doubtful in my mind.
Houston, Fairley, Spievey, and Berry will play this week while Durant, Delmas, Smith, and Wright will not. Jackson will likely be a game time decision and could go either way.