DENVER – To say that this week of preparations for head coach Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions was challenging would be a bit of an understatement.
Detroit dealt with simultaneous outbreaks of both the Flu and COVID-19 in Allen Park this week, affecting practice and meeting schedules, and altering the roster significantly ahead of today's matchup with the Broncos in Denver.
The Lions knew they'd be without top running back D’Andre Swift (shoulder) and leading pass catcher tight end T.J. Hockenson (hand) today, but were delivered even more bad news Friday when veteran running back Jamaal Williams was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Williams was expected to carry a lot of the load in the run game with Swift being out, but that now falls on Jermar Jefferson, Godwin Igwebuike and Craig Reynolds, who was brought up from the practice squad Saturday. Both Swift and Hockenson are officially inactive today.
Also inactive are outside linebacker Julian Okwara (ankle) and linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder). The team ruled out both players on Friday.
Rounding out Detroit's inactive list are a couple of healthy scratches in quarterback David Blough and wide receiver Trinity Benson.
The good news for Detroit is that all 12 of the players listed as questionable to play today are active. That list includes defensive end Michael Brockers, outside linebacker Charles Harris, guard Jonah Jackson, defensive end Levi Onwuzurike, tackle Penei Sewell and guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai, to name a few.
Detroit will be starting third-string center Ryan McCollum today. Backup center Evan Brown, who has started last eight games for Detroit, was one of the seven Lions players placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week.