The Detroit Lions can clinch a playoff berth, and their first division title since 1993, with a win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. A big rebound win over the Denver Broncos in Week 16 has the shifted sentiment around the team to positive after a down stretch of games.
On the injury front this week, the No. 1 headline for the Lions is the return to practice of defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson. He has of course been sidelined since suffering a torn pectoral early in the Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks, and he has made a fast recovery from what was easily tabbed to be a season-ending injury.
The secondary headline was rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker being added to the active roster, as his 21-day return window from the NFI list expired.
Fullback Jason Cabinda (knee) also had his 21-day return clock started this past Wednesday too, though he's been eligible to come off IR for several weeks.
Gardner-Johnson and Cabinda, as could expected with just three practice days under their belts, have been ruled out for Sunday's game. Cornerback Jerry Jacobs (hamstring) was injured against the Broncos, and he was ruled out. As was tight end Brock Wright, and Anthony Firkser was called up from the practice squad on Saturday to presumably take his place.
Linebacker Derrick Barnes (shoulder) was also injured against the Broncos, and he was listed as doubtful.
Here's a look at the Week 16 inactives for the Lions.
- CB Jerry Jacobs
- LB Derrick Barnes
- TE Brock Wright
- QB Hendon Hooker (emergency quarterback)
- DT Brodric Martin
- WR Antoine Green
- CB Steven Gilmore
Hooker is technically inactive, but the new rule for this year allows him to be designated as the emergency third quarterback and the Lions have done that this week.
And here are the Week 16 inactives for the Vikings. Of note, No. 1 cornerback Byron Murphy and starting right tackle Brian O'Neill are out,
- CB Byron Murphy Jr.
- OT Brian O'Neill
- QB Joshua Dobbs
- WR Jalen Nailor
- S Lewis Cine
- OG Chris Reed
- TE Nick Muse