As expected, running back D’Andre Swift won't be available for the Detroit Lions Sunday when they take on the Minnesota Vikings after Swift sprained his shoulder on Thanksgiving, but Lions head coach Dan Campbell did update the timeframe for Swift's potential return.
"Right now I feel like he's maybe a week away," Campbell said Friday. "I'm hoping that. He's still pretty sore, but getting better and improving. We'll see where it goes here. I'll know a lot more tomorrow. You see how he feels day in and day out, but right now he's pretty tender."
Swift has been a key component of Detroit's offense all season, and his absence will be a big loss Sunday. Swift is the only player this season to record at least 100 rushes and have 55 receptions, and he and Austin Ekeler are the only players in the NFL to accumulate at least 500 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards this season.
"It's not easy to replace a guy like him, as dynamic as he's been," Campbell said of replacing Swift. "It really becomes that production is by committee now. Where does Swift's production go now to get it back? And I would say we're trying to find ways to spread it throughout this roster of skill players that we do have.
"Jamaal (Williams) going to take a lot of that, so are the other two backs – (Jermar) Jefferson and Godwin (Igwebuike). Then some of the other just pass production is going to have to come from our receivers and tight ends."
Campbell also had a couple other injury updates.
Kicker Austin Seibert won't return this year after suffering a hip injury. The Lions have turned to Riley Patterson and Aldrick Rosas in recent weeks with each player taking a turn at kicking duties the last two games.
It's also "highly unlikely" wide receiver Quintez Cephus, who injured a collar bone Week 5 in Minnesota, will return this season. Cephus had 15 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns before the injury.
"Both of those players, we feel very good about in 2022, being healed up and ready to go," Campbell said.
PUNT RETURN ANOMALY
Kalif Raymond's 48-yard punt return stands as the longest punt return in the NFL through 13 weeks, and there hasn't been a single punt return touchdown all year. Amazingly, it's the first time since 1960 the league has gone into the month of December without a punt return for a score, per former Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin.
"I would say the punters in this league are getting a lot better," Campbell said Friday, when asked about the anomaly. "They have particularly over the last five to eight years. I think ball location has a lot to do with it. That certainly helps.
"Man, I don't know, this is an odd year. Normally, you would have quite a few by now. It's unbelievable. I do think there's something to that though with the punters in this league."
The Lions have been really close to busting a couple touchdowns of their own on punt returns. One more block on a couple of Raymond's returns and he was gone.
"Probably what'll happen is there'll be six this week," Campbell said jokingly.
Campbell said the Lions will honor the victims of the Oxford shooting with a helmet decal and T-shirts on Sunday. The team is also planning a moment of silence.
"We want to represent them," Campbell said. "I know there'll be a group of those students and kids and people who've been affected watching this game so right now that's the best way to help them."