WASHINGTON – The Detroit Lions will be shorthanded a number of key starters today against the Redskins.
The team already ruled out quarterback Matthew Stafford (back), defensive end Trey Flowers (concussion), center Frank Ragnow (concussion), safety Tracy Walker (knee), defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand (ankle) and kick returner Jamal Agnew (ankle) on Friday.
Cornerback Rashaan Melvin was questionable coming in due to a rib injury suffered in practice this week, and that injury will also keep him out of today's lineup. That's six starters and one key reserve – Hand – on Detroit's inactive list not playing today.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson (shoulder) was the other questionable player coming in after being added to the injury report Saturday, but he's active.
With so many starters out for the Lions today, they'll be relying on a number of backups and rotational players to step up and play key roles as the team tries to snap its three-game losing streak against the 1-9 Redskins.
Jeff Driskel is expected to make his third start at quarterback in place of Stafford. Driskel's completed 58 percent of his passes in his previous two starts for 478 passing yards, 88 rushing yards, four total touchdowns and an interception.
The Lions could turn to either Mike Ford or rookie Amani Oruwariye to start in place of Melvin at cornerback.
I expect Graham Glasgow to shift over from guard to play center in place of Ragnow. Veteran Kenny Wiggins will step into the starting lineup at guard.
Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant and a collection of others will need to supply pressure off the edge in place of Flowers. Bryant is making his NFL debut after missing the first 10 games with an upper body injury. He was a fourth-round pick by the Lions this past offseason.
Detroit has a number of options to return kickoffs and punts in place of Agnew. Danny Amendola, Marvin Hall and Ty Johnson could be among those names.