The Detroit Lions did fine without him against the overmatched Carolina Panthers on Sunday, but there's no denying how important wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is. Notably absent from Dan Campbell's injury updates on Monday was anything about "The Sun God", but during his appearance on 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Jansen Show Tuesday morning the Lions' head coach rectified that.
"It’s not easy to put Saint down, as you could imagine," "That is not something that he really wants to hear, but it was the right thing to do."
"I feel pretty good about the possibility of him playing this week. It's certainly more than questionable, closer to probable. We’ll see how this week goes."
St. Brown missed the entire week of practice last week with an abdomen injury, and after being listed as doubtful he unsurprisingly didn't get cleared to play against the Panthers. Not that his absence hampered things, as the Lions scored 42 points and put up 377 yards of offense in a decisive win. But the Panthers are in the conversation among the worst teams in the NFL right now, with an 0-5 record to show it. Practically any opponent the Lions have from here on out will pose more of a challenge.
Amon-Ra St. Brown tracking toward a return in Week 6 vs. Tampa Bay
St. Brown is someone who has the equity to play without practicing during the week, and he intended to play through pain against the Panthers. But, while you never take an opponent lightly and the Lions didn't, it was a "we can win without him" scenario and not worth risking an abdomen injury becoming something more than it is. Sometime players need to be protected from themselves too, so credit to the Lions' medical staff for not clearing him when St. Brown surely pushed hard to play.
The Buccaneers are a surprising (and flimsy) 3-1 coming out of their bye week. But they are a first place team, and the Lions are on track to have their No. 1 wide receiver back in the fold on Sunday.