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Swift returns to practice: 'Just working my way back'

D’Andre Swift missed most of training camp last year with a hip injury.

The talented second-year Lions running back has missed the last two weeks or so of practice, including last week's preseason opener vs. Buffalo, as the team has taken a cautious approach to some groin tightness Swift was experiencing.

But Swift was back on the practice field Thursday taking his share of the first-team reps, and he looked pretty good doing it.

"Just working my way back," Swift said after Thursday's practice. "Training staff has done a great job with me just being there every day."

This is a big few weeks for Swift to get in his reps and ready himself for the fast approaching regular season. He and veteran Jamaal Williams are expected to play critical roles in Detroit's backfield this season.

Dealing with the hip injury last year, Swift missed most of training camp, and that limited what the Lions put on his plate early in the year. There isn't that concern now for a second-year player like Swift, but physically, the Lions need him to be good right from the get-go vs. San Francisco Week 1 for this offense to be clicking on all cylinders.

"It just shows me that they understand what's going on," Swift said of the team holding him back the last couple weeks. "Just taking the time off to make sure I'm right so I can be able to produce and be consistent when I'm out here."

Swift rushed 114 times for 521 yards (4.6 avg.) and eight touchdowns in 13 games last season, along with catching 46 passes for 357 yards (7.8 avg.) and two more scores.

Swift and Williams have a chance to be a really nice duo running behind a strong offensive line in Detroit -- Swift as the big-play threat and weapon in the passing game, and Williams as a do-it-all type player. Williams recorded 119 rushing attempts last season and only had five of his rushes stuffed behind the line of scrimmage.

Swift admitted it's been frustrating to sit and watch, but he's kept his eye on the prize all along, which was getting completely past the groin injury and being full go for Week 1. He's got a few weeks to dust off any rust, but getting him back Thursday and watching him and Williams work together was good news for the Lions' offense.

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