For the first time this season, Detroit Lions fans will see talented second-year defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand in uniform on gameday. An elbow injury has kept Hand out of the team's first seven games, but he returned to practice in full capacity this week and is active.
Hand brings versatility and athleticism to a Detroit defensive front that's been underwhelming this season.
Hand was Pro Football Focus' top rookie interior defender last season and can play anywhere along the front. He was second on the team a year ago with 22 quarterback pressures, despite missing three games and playing less than 60 percent of the snaps on defense.
While the news is good on Hand, the Lions' defense will be without Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. He suffered a hamstring injury last week in the loss to the Vikings and was ruled out Friday.
The team also ruled out defensive tackle Mike Daniels (foot) and cornerback Amani Oruwariye (knee). Daniels hasn't played since injuring his foot in the first half of Detroit's Week 3 victory in Philadelphia. Hand's return to the lineup helps stem the Daniels loss.
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. and fullback Nick Bawden were both questionable coming into today's contest against the Giants, but both are active.
Harrison has been well off his statistical totals from past seasons early this year, especially against the run, and vowed this week he’d be better.
The Giants' Saquon Barkley is one of the best running backs in the NFL, so the Lions will have to be better against the run than they were last week against the Vikings – 166 yards allowed on the ground – and really better than they've been all season. Detroit's allowing and average of 139.2 yards per game on the ground.
Joining Slay, Daniels and Oruwariye on Detroit's inactive list today are: Quarterback David Blough, guard Beau Benzschawel, guard Oday Aboushi and defensive tackle Kevin Strong.