The Lions returned from their bye week Monday rested and near full health.
Guard T.J. Lang, who missed the Lions' Week 5 matchup vs. the Packers with a concussion, returned to practice Wednesday. Lang saw several specialists over the bye, and determined it was safe to return.
“Most of them said yes,” Lang said Thursday. “That gave me a lot of confidence. A few of them had different opinions, but for the most part it was, ‘I think you’ll be fine to play. I don’t think there will be ramifications further down the line if you continue to play.’”
In addition to Lang, defensive end Ziggy Ansah was also on the practice field for the Lions this week. Ansah was a limited participant in all three practices leading up to the Packers game, but was not able to play in the matchup.
Ansah was limited again this week, and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Miami. Lang is also questionable.
It's not all good news on the injury front though, as running back Theo Riddick missed practice all week with a knee injury. The Lions have ruled him out for Sunday's game.
Riddick has played 134 snaps for the offense this year, so without him, the Lions' backfield will look a little different. Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount could see more time, and Ameer Abdullah, who hasn't played on offense yet this season, could be in the mix as well.
“He’s unbelievable from his preparation to his ability and skillset,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said of Abdullah. “His improvement from the spring has been amazing. (He’s) dependable. A guy that can really do a lot on special teams to help us, too.
“Really a great player, who’s always prepared to go and whenever those opportunities come up I’m sure he’ll be ready to take full advantage of them.”
AGNEW TO IR
While the Lions are relatively healthy at the moment, they did place cornerback Jamal Agnew on Reserve/Injured Monday. It's unclear if he's a candidate to return later this season or not.
“Well, you have to make a staff decision with the head coach, the GM,” special teams coordinator Joe Marciano said. “All those meetings are coming up before we play Miami.
“The next guy up mentality. You know that answer, right? That’s the way it is.”
Golden Tate, TJ Jones, Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Powell all have experience returning punts, kicks or both. We'll see Sunday what the Lions decide to do.
WELCOME TO MIAMI
The Lions head south to Miami for their Week 7 matchup with the Dolphins, and while the temperatures may be a factor, having to guess which Dolphins quarterback they'll see will not be.
Head coach Adam Gase confirmed to Detroit media Wednesday it will be the veteran backup Brock Osweiler at quarterback for the Dolphins this week, as Ryan Tannehill continues to nurse a shoulder injury.
“We’re taking it a day at a time,” Gase said in a conference call. “And it’s really been one of those things where we’ve got to kind of regroup and figure out where he (Tannehill) is at. Last week he kind of went downhill from the start of the week to the end of the week.”’
Gase doesn't expect there to be any wholesale changes to the offense with Osweiler at the helm.
“They’re not far apart,” Gase said. “Ryan has a larger skill set when it comes to being able to run with the football. Brock still has the ability to do a lot of that. He’s athletic. He’s a former basketball player.
“When he gets out in the open field, he’s not afraid to mix it up with anybody. There’s not too much difference. It’s not like a wholesale change in the offense.”
For Mike O'Hara's full scouting report on the Dolphins, click here.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- Mike O'Hara sat down for a Q&A with head coach Matt Patricia ahead of the team's return from the bye week. See what Patricia had to say.
- Take a post-bye week look at the remaining games on the Lions' 2018 schedule.
- Catch up on all the news from Jim Bob Cooter and Paul Pasqualoni's Tuesday media sessions.
- With such a close race in the NFC North, Tim Twentyman takes a look at what each of the four teams need to do to win the division.