Detroit traded veteran safety Quandre Diggs and a seventh-round draft pick in 2021 to Seattle for a fifth-round pick next year, in part, because they felt really good about what they have at the position in second year safety Tracy Walker, veteran Tavon Wilson and rookie Will Harris.
The move does thin the numbers for the Lions at the position, however, and that depth was tested Sunday in Detroit's 31-26 victory over the New York Giants after Walker left with a knee injury in the third quarter and didn't return. Wilson was also dinged up briefly in the second half.
At one point, Detroit played Miles Killebrew on defense. He hasn't played anything but special teams in a year and a half.
Walker was hurt when it looked like teammate Devon Kennard fell on him trying to defend a Giants touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to Evan Engram. Walker was down for a bit, needed assistance from the trainers walking off the field, and went right to the locker room. He did not return.
"I mean I saw Tracy briefly as I was kind of making my rounds, he said he was fine and we'll figure it out tomorrow, and I said, 'Cool.' He brought the team up after and everything like that," Lions head coach Matt Patricia said in his postgame press conference.
"We'll look at it tomorrow from that standpoint. I think the guys on the sideline did a really good job, and honestly, they did a good job all week in the back end just being calm, being settled. We made a lot of adjustments in the game, I would say we made some adjustments before that situation happened and just had a lot of moving parts. There was a lot of personnel and positions and all of that stuff, and I think those guys handled that really well. It was good."
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. aggravated the groin injury he suffered last week in the second quarter Sunday, but was able to return.
"I'll go in and see the doctors," Harrison said about the injury after the game. "I'll know more this week. I'm fine."
RUNNING BACK HELP
The Lions put starting running back Kerryon Johnson on IR this week with the hope he can return later this season. In the meantime, however, the Lions might have to address the position before Tuesday's trade deadline.
Tra Carson, Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins combined to rush 23 times for 56 yards (2.4 average) Sunday vs. a Giants defense that came into the game ranked 26th in the NFL. Detroit's rushed for just four first downs over the last two weeks combined since Kerryon got hurt.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford continues to play really well, but he and the passing game could use some support.
If the deal is right, maybe Detroit can look for some reinforcements at the position.
Speaking of running backs, the New York Giants have a pretty good one in Saquon Barkley, but credit the Lions' defense for holding him somewhat in check. Barkley came in averaging 5.1 yards per carry and the Lions limited him to 64 yards on the ground on 19 carries (3.4). That coming off a performance last week where the Vikings rushed for 166 yards as a team and Dalvin Cook had 142 yards and two scores.
Barkley did add eight catches for 79 yards and a touchdown to his overall scrimmage yard totals, proving why he's one of the best all-around backs in the game today.
- Defensive end Trey Flowers finished with four tackles (three solo), two sacks and one forced fumble for the Lions. It was his seventh career multi-sack contest and his first as a Lion.
- Wide receiver Marvin Hall notched a reception of 45-plus yards for the third straight game, becoming the first Lions player to reach this mark since Bill Schroeder in 2002.
- Stafford passed Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana (40,551) for the 19th most passing yards in NFL history.