MINNEAPOLIS – Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Friday there was a chance left tackle Penei Sewell and tight end T.J. Hockenson could play today after dealing with ankle and knee injuries, respectively, all week.
Sewell missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle injury, but was back in limited fashion at practice Friday. Hockenson sat out Wednesday's practice with a sore knee, but returned to Thursday and Friday's practices as a limited participant.
Both Sewell and Hockenson are active today. That's certainly good news for a Detroit football team trying to secure their first win of the season on the road against the Minnesota Vikings today.
Having Sewell active and able to play is a big plus for the Lions against a Minnesota defensive front that is one of the best in football. The Vikings have 13 sacks in four games, with veteran defensive end Danielle Hunter leading the way with five. Right tackle Matt Nelson will see Hunter most of the contest. Sewell will match up mostly with D.J. Wonnum and Everson Griffen on the left side.
Hockenson is second on the team with 22 receptions and leads the Lions in receiving yards (215) and touchdowns (2). He's arguably Detroit's top weapon in the passing game, and one of quarterback Jared Goff’s favorite targets. Him being active is a huge boost for the offense. The Lions did elevate tight end Shane Zylstra from the practice squad on Saturday for today's game just in case. Interestingly, the Vikings have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end this season.
Along with Sewell and Hockenson, running back D’Andre Swift (groin), running back Jamaal Williams (hip) and outside linebacker Trey Flowers (knee) were also listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, but all three are active today. Flowers is back after missing the last two contests.
Also back for the Lions is kicker Austin Seibert, who missed the last two games after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He came off that list and returned to practice this week and will assume kicking duties for the Lions. Ryan Santoso did a nice job filling in the last two weeks.
Inactive for Detroit today are: Running back Jermar Jefferson, wide receiver Tom Kennedy, defensive end Eric Banks, defensive end Jashon Cornell, outside linebacker Jessie Lemonier and cornerback Daryl Worley.