The Detroit Lions continue to have fairly short injury reports lately, relative to early in the season. But there was a big injury-related headline this week, with defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson (torn pectoral) starting his 21-day window to come off IR. Fullback Jason Cabinda (knee) also returned to practice and started his 21-day window to return, but Gardner-Johnson is the headliner.
The Lions can clinch the NFC North with a win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Christmas Eve. So who will they have available to help get it done?
Here is the Week 16 injury report for the Lions, with designations for Sunday's game.
- DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (pectoral)-Out
- CB Jerry Jacobs (hamstring)-Out
- FB Jason Cabinda (knee)-Out
- TE Brock Wright (hip)-Out
- LB Derrick Barnes (shoulder)-Doubtful
- C Frank Ragnow (knee/back/toe)-No designation
- OT Penei Sewell (shoulder)-No designation
- DT Levi Onwuzurike (knee)-No designation
Head coach Dan Campbell basically said Gardner-Johnson would not play when he spoke to the media earlier on Friday. Along the same line, three practices in to the same return window, Cabinda is out this week too.
Jacobs played zero defensive snaps in Week 15, and that may have been the case even without his injury exit. Kindle Vildor and Khalil Dorsey have usurped him in the Lions' cornerback pecking order.
With Wright out, second-year tight end James Mitchell is in line for more action as the Lions' No. 2 tight end.
Barnes was also injured last week against the Broncos, and while he was able to come back into the game he was a limited participant in practice all week. He seems ripe for a Saturday afternoon downgrade when the teams leaves for Minnesota. Jack Campbell, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Malcolm Rodriguez would play more if Barnes is out.
With Ragnow and Sewell good to go, the Lions will have their starting offensive line together for the second straight week. In a game where keeping Jared Goff clean will be extra critical against a blitz-heavy Vikings' defense, that is great news.
And here's the final Week 16 injury report for the Vikings.
- CB Byron Murphy Jr. (knee)-Out
- WR Jalen Nailor (concussion)-Out
- RB Alexander Mattison (ankle)-Questionable
- OT Brian O'Neill (ankle)-Questionable
- LB Jordan Hicks (shin)-Questionable
- LB Ivan Pace Jr. (shoulder)-Questionable
- DT Harrison Phillips (back)-Questionable
- DT Jonathan Bullard (ankle)-Questionable
- OLB Danielle Hunter (illness)-No designation
- DT Sheldon Day (ankle)-No designation