The Detroit Lions will be looking to fix their issues on offense today against a Minnesota Vikings' defense ranked 30th in the NFL. The Lions have averaged just around 13 points and 263 total yards of offense the last three weeks.
However, Detroit will have to do it without arguably their best offensive weapon in second-year running back D’Andre Swift. The Lions ruled Swift (shoulder) out on Friday after he missed practice all week.
"Right now, I feel like he may be a week away," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Swift. "I'm hoping that, as a matter of fact. He's still pretty sore, but he's getting better. He's improving. But, we'll see where it goes here. You see how he feels day in and day out. But as of right now, he's pretty tender."
The Lions are expected to lean heavily on veteran back Jamaal Williams, who comes into today's matchup averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He's stepped in numerous times over his first four seasons in Green Bay to fill the lead back role and was often very productive. Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson are also expected to play a bigger part in Detroit's backfield today.
Defensively, the Lions placed veteran outside linebacker Trey Flowers on injured reserve Saturday. The team signed outside linebacker Rashod Berry to the active roster from the practice squad, and Berry is active today.
The team also elevated linebacker Tavante Beckett and defensive end Bruce Hector from the practice squad Saturday, and both players are also active today.
Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder) and nose tackle John Penisini (illness) are inactive and won't play. Expect rookie linebacker Derrick Barnes to get a lot of run alongside Alex Anzalone today at one of the two inside linebacker spots in place of Reeves-Maybin.
Detroit's offense will also be without swing tackle Matt Nelson (ankle), who was limited all week with an ankle injury. Nelson started eight games at right tackle and was being used as an important extra blocker in Detroit's heavy package. Expect Will Holden to take over swing tackle duties today. Wide receiver Trinity Benson and quarterback David Blough are also inactive.
To round out Detroit's inactive list, special teams will have to play without one of their better players in gunner Bobby Price, who's dealing with a shoulder injury.