As the practice week for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers has gone one, the Detroit Lions have two significant injury concerns. Rookie defensive back Brian Branch suffered an ankle injury in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers, and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown popped up on this week's practice reports with an abdomen injury that happened during the game against the Packers.
On Thursday St. Brown told reporters his injury is mostly about pain management, and it's his goal to play on Sunday.
Head coach Dan Campbell had updates on Branch and St. Brown before Friday's practice. It's safe to say his words were not promising.
Detroit Lions may be without Brian Branch and Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. Panthers
Regarding St. Brown, via MLive, Campbell had more to say than all but declaring Branch out for Sunday's game.
"I think tomorrow will tell us a lot,” “I don’t want to push him today, so I think we’ll know a lot more tomorrow morning.”
"Look, it’s not easy,” Campbell said. “The potential of not having a guy like Saint, it’s hard, because he’s a productful and impactful player for us. And above all, he’s very dependable. He’s very dependable. You don’t have to worry about him being where he’s supposed to be, doing the job he’s supposed to be doing, and that’s run and pass game....But the good news is we feel like, there again, we’re by-committee here, and we’re going to use all the pieces we have if he’s not able to go.”
Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds, Sam LaPorta would help prominently fill the void in the Lions' passing game if St. Brown is out, and to whatever capacity he may play Jameson Williams can only help.
St. Brown may not be listed as out on Friday afternoon's official injury report. But Campbell's noting about Saturday morning puts a downgrade to out later in the day in play.
On the positive side regarding injuries, Campbell said there's hope to have right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai back "in some capacity" against the Panthers.