The Lions have missed dynamic rookie running back D’Andre Swift the last three games as he's dealt with concussion symptoms and an illness, but after completing a week's worth of practice, Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell said Swift is trending toward returning to the field Sunday at Ford Field as the Lions take on the division leading Green Bay Packers.
"(He) had another good day (Thursday)," Bevell said Friday. "It's a day-to-day thing in terms of they got to make it through and come in today and have to feel good today and then one more practice, but I'd say he's trending in the right direction, yes."
That's certainly good news for a Detroit offense that will be tasked with trying to keep pace with a Packers offense ranked No. 1 in scoring (31.6) and No. 2 in total offense (296.6).
The last time we saw Swift on the field – Week 10 vs. Washington – he rushed for 81 yards on 16 carries (5.1 average) and caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. It was his most complete performance of the year in his first start.
The fact that Swift participated in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week is a pretty good sign Bevell will feel comfortable with having him be a key part of the game plan, as long as he's shaken off some of the rust.
"If you get a full week's practice, then there's going to be, obviously, more opportunity for you to do more," Bevell said.
Swift has 70 rushes for 331 yards (4.7 avg.) and four touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 275 yards (8.9 avg.) and two scores on the year. Despite missing three games, Swift's 606 total scrimmage yards are still fifth most among rookie running backs, and he's No. 1 in scrimmage yards per touch (6.0).
Packers wide receiver Davante Adams recorded 10 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns last week against Philadelphia, becoming the third player (Antonio Brown & Terrell Owens) with at least five receptions and a touchdown catch in seven consecutive games. Adams leads the NFL in receiving yards per game (102.9) and is tied for the league lead with 13 touchdown catches.
"Obviously, he's one of if not the best receiver in the league," Lions defensive backs coach Steven Gregory said of Adams this week. "He has great hands and his ability to get off the line of scrimmage when you're in press and his ability to sit and read zone coverages and obviously the timing of him and (Aaron) Rodgers always being on the same page, it's pretty incredible the way they can produce out on the field.
"He's going to be challenging and we're going to have to do our best job of trying to be physical with him and try to be as tight in coverage as we can and try to contest the catch. He's going to make some plays, we just can't be discouraged. We just have to keep fighting and playing for 60 minutes and we'll see how it ends up in the end."
Lions defensive backs will have their hands full with Adams, who has run one of the most diverse route trees in the NFL this season, according to Next Gen Stats. Adams has 10-plus targets on seven different types of routes - screen, cross, hitch, slant, in, out and go – the most different routes with double-digit targets among all players in 2020.
HERMAN MOORE'S $84,000 CHALLENGE
Former Lions wide receiver Herman Moore is challenging the community this Christmas season to support a cause that's near and dear to him.
Moore, who's The Salvation Army's 2020 Red Kettle Corporate Chairperson, is launching 'Herman Moore’s $84,000 Challenge' to help the nonprofit Rescue Christmas for metro Detroiters in need this year.
From Fri., Dec. 11 through Mon., Dec. 14, all red kettle donations, including physical kettles, text-to-give and Moore's Virtual Red Kettle will be fully matched, dollar-for-dollar up to $84,000, thanks to an anonymous donor. Also, the first person who donates $8,400 to The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's Red Kettle Campaign will receive an autographed Detroit Lions Legend Herman Moore Throwback Jersey.
- Rodgers has never lost a December game when facing a bottom four scoring defense in his career (average margin of victory: 20.3 points), per NFL Media Research.
- Only Hall of Famer Walter Payton (19) has scored more rushing touchdowns vs. Green Bay than Adrian Peterson (16) since 1948.