The Detroit Lions are in wait-and-see mode with Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow and the groin injury he's been dealing with this week.
The team officially listed Ragnow as questionable to play Sunday in the home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, but there is a little more optimism Friday than there was on Thursday after Ragnow returned to practice in limited fashion.
The injury happened Wednesday during practice, and Ragnow admitted Friday that it scared him initially, but he has been encouraged by the steady improvement he's seen in the past 48 hours.
"It felt pretty good today," Ragnow said. "We'll see how it feels tomorrow and then we'll go from there. It felt pretty good today. I'm cautiously optimistic, but we'll see what the coaches think and what the medical people think tomorrow."
It's disappointing for Ragnow to be dealing with an injury after coming off a 2021 season where he played in just four games because of a foot injury.
Ragnow has had a terrific camp, and the hope is he'll progress at a rate that allows him to play Sunday.
If not, the Lions have a lot of confidence Evan Brown can come in and pick up where he left off last year, which was filling in nicely for Ragnow in 12 starts.
"Evan banked a lot of reps for us last year and did a heck of a job for us," Campbell said. "So shoot, I've got a lot of confidence in him."
Lions third-year running back D’Andre Swift has set a lofty goal for the 2022 season. He wants to record 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. Only three players in league history have accomplished the feat (Christian McCaffrey, Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig).
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was asked about Swift's goal this week.
"Shoot, I know he is explosive enough to do that," Johnson said. "There's no doubt that would put him in rare company I know, but he is the type of explosive athlete that can do it, and I do think we have the pieces around him that could help him get there.
"We'll see how the season goes, but I would be more than thrilled. That would mean good things for the Detroit Lions if he did that."
Swift has had a tremendous offseason and training camp, and is expected to play a leading role in Detroit's offense, starting Sunday at Ford Field against a very good Eagles defense that was ninth best against the run last year. Whenever Johnson can get Swift in space in a one-on-one situation, either via the run or pass, he'll go for that option more often than not.
View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles Week 8 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Oct. 31 in Detroit, MI.
DOMINANT RUN BLOCKER
Every year when the season ends, players have their exit interviews and are given a few things the coaches would like to see improve.
What was the area of emphasis for Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson?
"Partially in the run game, was one of the big things is we wanted him to become a dominant run blocker," Lions pass game coordinator and tight ends coach Tanner Engstrand said this week.
"Which in my opinion he really can be. I don't think he gets enough credit for how well he blocks and his ability to do so. That was one of the things we really wanted to stress with him. At the point of attack becoming a player that we could really rely on and run behind."
The Lions established six captains for the 2022 season, voted on by the players. Those captains are: Quarterback Jared Goff, center Frank Ragnow, linebacker Alex Anzalone, safety Tracy Walker, defensive lineman Michael Brockers and linebacker Josh Woods.
The Lions signed kicker Dominik Eberle to the practice squad and placed kicker Aldrick Rosas on practice squad/injured.