MINNEAPOLIS – It was a big start to the week for Detroit Lions veteran safety Tracy Walker, as he and his wife celebrated the birth of their second child.
Unfortunately, the week didn't end on a high note for Walker, who left Sunday's 28-24 loss to Minnesota with what the team called a left ankle injury. The worry after the game was that it could be an Achilles injury for Walker.
"We don't know entirely, we'll know more in the morning," head coach Dan Campbell said after the game. "It doesn't look real good. It's the ankle area, possibly could be the Achilles. We'll see."
Walker was injured in the first quarter and needed help getting off the field. Once on the sideline, he was evaluated by doctors briefly before moving to a cart and heading to the Lions locker room. He was ruled out from returning a short time later by the team.
Walker, who led the team with 103 tackles last season, was again the team's leading tackler through two games with 18.
"Obviously losing an important leader like Tracy, a captain, it would be tough," cornerback Amani Oruwariye said. "Let's just hope that's not the case."
Walker was replaced by JuJu Hughes, who finished with eight tackles, but looked to be part of the miscommunication with cornerback Mike Hughes at the end of the game that allowed Minnesota's game-winning touchdown with 45 seconds left in the contest.
The Lions were flagged seven times for 59 yards, but a lot of those were attributed to Oruwariye, who was flagged four times for pass interference, illegal contact (twice) and defensive holding. The Vikings declined two more illegal contacts on Oruwariye.
"The first one, the illegal contact, even Adam (Thielen) came up to me and was like, 'Come on, that was not a flag,'" Oruwariye said after the game. "A couple of those were questionable, but at the end of the day, a flag is a flag and I have to just clean up the little things like that and be better."
Oruwariye is a physical and aggressive corner, but when the officials are eyeing that, he's got to be able to adjust his game.
Oruwariye finished the game with nine tackles and one tackle for loss.
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 3 game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Minneapolis, MN.
There's a saying a few Lions players have used this season that resonated after veteran kicker Austin Seibert missed two field goals in Detroit's loss Sunday. It's something along the lines of, 'it takes a long time to build trust, but trust can be lost in an instant.'
With the way Campbell lamented not going for it on the final 4th and 4 at the Vikings' 36, instead giving Seibert a 54-yard try he missed, it's fair to wonder if Seibert has lost some trust from his head coach.
Seibert also missed from 48 yards on the first Lions possession of the game. He did hit from 40 yards in the third quarter. Will Sunday affect Campbell's confidence in him moving forward?
- A number of players on offense were banged up Sunday. Running back D’Andre Swift, already dealing with an ankle injury, left the game and had his carries limited. He had his left arm wrapped up in the locker room after the game. Wide receiver Josh Reynolds suffered a leg injury. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown left the game and had his ankle and foot heavily taped before returning.
- Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said fixing some of the miscommunication that plagued the secondary in the first two weeks was a point of emphasis this week. There's still some work to get done in that regard as Campbell and players blamed the last touchdown on miscommunication in the secondary that led to a wide open Vikings receiver.
- Linebacker Alex Anzalone led the defense with 10 tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and two quarterback hits.