The Detroit Lions have been finding ways to win games the last couple weeks without some of their key contributors. They'll have to do the same again today vs. Washington if they're going to make it three wins in a row.
Offensively, the Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, running back Dwayne Washington, tight end Eric Ebron and tackle Corey Robinson.
Ebron will miss his third straight game with knee and ankle injuries. The Lions have missed their former first-round pick the last couple weeks, as quarterback Matthew Stafford has targeted the tight end position just once the last two weeks resulting in one catch for three yards.
The Lions will be without Riddick, the team's leading rusher, for a second straight week due to an ankle injury. They'll also be without talented rookie runner Washington (ankle), who's also missing his second game in a row.
Second-year back Zach Zenner filled in nicely last week rushing for 58 yards on 14 carries (4.1 average). Zenner could play a key role again this week with Riddick and Washington inactive. Veteran Justin Forsett is also expected to get some work in Detroit's backfield.
In wins over Philadelphia and St. Louis the last two weeks, the Lions have utilized a heavy package with Robinson as a third tackle. He's played 30 snaps in that set the last two weeks. He's inactive today due to an ankle injury, so the Lions will have to use reserve tackle Cornelius Lucas or someone else in that role if they plan to feature it today vs. Washington.
Defensively, the Lions continue to be without linebacker DeAndre Levy, who hasn't played since Week 1 because of quad and knee injuries.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) will miss his second straight contest with a shoulder injury. Khyri Thornton started in his place last week and recorded two tackles and a quarterback hit.
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle), guard Larry Warford (groin) and linebacker Tahir Whitehead (abdomen), who were all questionable on Friday's injury report, will play.
Joining Riddick, Ebron, Robinson, Levy, Ngata and Washington on Detroit's inactive list today is cornerback Adairius Barnes.