Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been ruled out for a fourth straight game with the back injury suffered Week 9 in Oakland. Backup Jeff Driskel has started the last three games in place of Stafford, but he’s been battling a hamstring injury this week, and while he is active today, he’ll serve as the backup for rookie David Blough.
Blough, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Purdue, is making his first career NFL start as the Lions host Chicago for their annual Thanksgiving Day Game.
Along with Stafford, the Lions ruled out cornerback Rashaan Melvin (ribs) and kick returner Jamal Agnew on Friday’s injury report. I expect rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye to make a second straight start in place of Melvin. Danny Amendola and Ty Johnson could handle punt and kickoff return duties.
Detroit had six players listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. Of those, five are active, including Driskel. That list also includes defensive starters Trey Flowers (concussion) and Tracy Walker (knee), and key reserve Da’Shawn Hand.
Flowers and Walker both missed last week’s game in Washington. Hand hasn’t played since Week 9 in Oakland due to an ankle injury. He’s played in just two games this season because of elbow and ankle injuries.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson was also among those players questionable to play today, but he too is active.
The one player inactive from that list coming in questionable is defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. He’s been battling knee and calf injuries this week, and those will force him to miss his first game this season.
The Lions do get center Frank Ragnow back this week after he missed last week’s game against the Redskins due to a concussion. That allows Graham Glasgow to move back to guard after he filled in for Ragnow at center last week.
The team placed wide receiver Marvin Hall on injured reserve Saturday and promoted Chris Lacy from the practice squad. Lacy is active today.
Guards Beau Benzschawel and Oday Aboushi, and cornerback Michael Jackson are Detroit’s other inactive players today.