After exiting the Week 15 win over the Jets, Lions safety DeShon Elliott looks unlikely to play Saturday against the Panthers.
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media on Tuesday, and he had an injury update on safety DeShon Elliott. It’s obviously early in the week, but it’s also a shorter week with Week 16 coming Saturday against the Carolina Panthers.
Via Pride of Detroit, here’s what Campbell said about Elliott.
"I would say right now, he’s looking like he probably won’t be able to make it,” Campbell said. Later adding, “As of right now, it doesn’t look very promising, but there again, we’re going to see how he feels every day.”"
Campbell added it’s uncertain if it will be a multi-week injury for Elliott.
Elliott left last Sunday’s win over the New York Jets with a shoulder injury and did not return. Already down Tracy Walker due to an Achilles tear way back in Week 3, the Lions will be very bereft of experience at the safety spot against Carolina.
DeShon Elliott absence vs. Panthers will hurt, but not as much as it could
Elliott is second on the Lions in tackles this season with 91 total in 13 games. He has a team-high 70 solo tackles, along with one interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. As a four-year veteran, his experience has been critical to a young Lions’ secondary.
On the positive side for a Lions’ pass defense that has not been good and is likely to be without Elliott on Saturday, the Panthers have the league’s 30th-ranked pass offense (170.6 yards per game) with the fourth-fewest pass attempts in the league (383; 27.4 per game). High pass volume for Sam Darnold brings multiple mistakes from him into play, and the Lions’ pass rush has been very good lately.
C.J. Moore took over for Elliott after he left the game against the Jets and is likely to start against Carolina, but he has mainly been a special teamer with one career start on his resume. Second-year man Ifeatu Melifonwu is another potential option, if not to start than to get some playing time in Elliott’s place.