The Detroit Lions are down a number of key starters on both sides of the football today as they host the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field.
The team already ruled out running back D’Andre Swift and outside linebacker Julian Okwara on Friday's injury report. It will be the third game in a row the Lions will play without Swift after he sprained his shoulder on Thanksgiving against the Bears.
With veteran Jamaal Williams still on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, expect Craig Reynolds and rookie Jermar Jefferson to carry a lot of the load at running back, with Godwin Igwebuike also working into the mix. Reynolds has been on Detroit's practice squad all season, but got a chance to play last week in Denver. He rushed 11 times for 83 yards.
The Lions will also be without starting left guard Jonah Jackson. He was listed as questionable coming in after missing practice all week with a back injury. Expect rookie Tommy Kraemer to take Jackson's place in the starting lineup. He filled in at right guard for a couple games earlier this season and played pretty well.
"He's ready," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Kraemer on Friday. "He's been taking in the reps this week. As you guys know, he played against Chicago. We know he'll be ready to go in there and know what to do and he'll battle if needed."
The Lions do get center Evan Brown back in the starting lineup this week after he missed last week's contest in Denver while on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He's played well filling in for Frank Ragnow this season, and the Lions missed his presence in the middle of their offensive line last week.
Leading tackler and veteran safety Tracy Walker is also inactive today after being downgraded to out Sunday morning with an illness. Walker and linebacker Alex Anzalone have 78 total tackles on the year, but Walker leads the team with 52 solo tackles. He'll be missed. Expect veteran Dean Marlowe to fill the void at safety.
Also inactive for the Lions today are: Quarterback David Blough, wide receiver Trinity Benson and tackle Will Holden.
Anzalone, defensive end Michael Brockers, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and wide receiver Josh Reynolds, who were all listed as questionable to play coming into today, are active and expected to play.