The offensive line has been a big catalyst behind Detroit's success offensively this season. If that's going to continue tonight vs. the Las Vegas Raiders at Ford Field, the Lions need a couple backups to step in and play their part.
Detroit will be without left guard Jonah Jackson (ankle) and center Frank Ragnow (toe/calf) against the Raiders. Ragnow missed practice all week with a calf injury and was listed as doubtful on Saturday's injury report. He is inactive and will miss his first game of the season. Veteran Graham Glasgow is expected to start at center.
"That's one of the reasons why Graham's here, man, his reliability and the fact that he's played multiple positions," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said this week. "He played obviously plenty of center last year and he's done it in this league, so lot of confidence there."
Veteran guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (back) was questionable coming in but is active. That leaves one starting guard spot open with Glasgow likely moving from guard to center. Kayode Awosika, Colby Sorsdal, Dan Skipper and Michael Niese, who was just elevated from the practice squad, are all options.
Defensive lineman Benito Jones (ankle), defensive lineman Josh Paschal (knee) and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (ankle) were listed as questionable to play tonight but all three are active.
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is active too. He was added to the injury report on Sunday with an illness and was listed as questionable. St. Brown leads the Lions in catches (51), targets (69), receiving yards (557) and is tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.
Detroit ruled out running back David Montgomery (ribs) for a second consecutive week, which means rookie Jahmyr Gibbs will get his third career start. Gibbs is averaging 4.9 yards per carry on the season and also has 23 receptions. He scored his first career touchdown last week in Baltimore.
Joining Ragnow, Jackson, and Montgomery on Detroit's inactive list tonight are defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs and Levi Onwuzurike. With Buggs and Onwuzurike being healthy scratches, rookie third-round pick Brodric Martin will make his NFL debut after being inactive the first seven games of the season. The defensive lineman out of Western Kentucky gives the Lions a big presence inside at 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds. Rookie cornerback Steven Gilmore rounds out Detroit's inactive list tonight.