Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell sent some headlines through the Honolulu Blue faithful news outlets when he mentioned he was concerned with lead running back D’Andre Swift‘s groin injury. Many of which reported his availability for the first game of the season was in question.
With many injuries in the preseason, coaches and medical personnel will bring players along slowly as the urgency to get back on the field is minimal. There’s no reason to rush a player back from injury to win a meaningless preseason game or get them additional reps that could ultimately set them back in their rehab by risking further injury.
At this time of year, the game itself doesn’t matter. This is why it is concerning to hear that Swift might not be available when the Detroit Lions host the San Francisco 49ers on September 12. But, alas, we have the preseason overreaction of the week. Swift was at practice on Tuesday and seemed to be performing just fine.
There’s nothing wrong with being concerned about your starting running back being completely healthy and ready for the season. Campbell obviously wants Swift, and the entire offense for that matter, to be firing on all cylinders. Luckily, these Detroit Lions aren’t short on depth at the running back position.
But, how did we get to Swift possibly missing the first game? It stemmed from this quote from Campbell per the Detroit Free Press.
"“Swift concerns me a little bit just with getting his wind back and being able to take a blow and how much can he (play), where he’s at. He’ll be out here (practicing Tuesday). He’ll be more involved than he’s been. But we don’t know if he’s going to be there. We don’t know, even if he is, how much we’re going to get out of him. And until we get him out to practice on a consistent basis, we won’t know that.”"
Really, it sounds like Campbell is being cautious with his wording and not over-promising on his running back’s availability before he sees how he’s doing on the field. Then Tuesday’s practice happened and Swift put a lot of people’s minds at ease. Campbell might keep it conservative and say it’s a step in the right direction, it just needs to be seen again at the next practice and then again at the next and so on.
Sure, it’s something to keep an eye on, but it has been ever since the injury was first reported. There’s really nothing new here, yet it was presented as such. In reality, Swift’s status remains unchanged and Campbell’s concern remains the same as it was previously. We’re just another week closer to the regular season where every tiny nugget of info will be overanalyzed until the first regular-season game kicks off.