Lions downgrade safety Tracy Walker to out vs. Cardinals
After some hope he’d be able to play, Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker is out for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
After he was one of many absences for the Detroit Lions in Week 14, due to being on the COVID-19 list, the Detroit Lions activated safety Tracy Walker on Saturday. He was still listed as questionable for Sunday. But at least there was a glimmer of hope he’d be able to play, after head coach Dan Campbell indicated the NFL’s new virus protocols wouldn’t necessarily get any players back in uniform this week.
Sunday morning, that hope went away. The Lions have downgraded Walker to out for Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff against the Arizona Cardinals.
Walker is tied for the team lead in tackles this season with 78, along with five pass breakups and three tackles for loss in 12 games. He has been one of the Lions’ best defensive players this season, if not the best.
The Lions can cover for Tracy Walker’s absence a little better than they could’ve
The Lions are set to get three defensive backs back on Sunday–cornerbacks Ifeatu Melifonwu and Bobby Price are coming off the COVID list, and cornerback AJ Parker is off IR. Will Harris, for all his flaws, can move back to safety in a top pairing with Dean Marlowe. Cornerback Jerry Jacons (torn ACL) is of course out, but at least the Lions will have some secondary depth back in action.
Even without wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (knee), the Cardinals have plenty of available players set to keep the NFL’s 10th-ranked passing attack and No. 10 overall offense rolling on Sunday.
Walker’s absence for a second straight game will not help any chances the Lions have to contain Arizona’s offense. However, his chance to return in Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons seems good.