The Detroit Lions (9-3) will face the Chicago Bears (4-8) in Week 14 for their second meeting in four weeks. Both teams are relatively healthy, especially at this point in the season, but the Lions are still dealing with some shocking injuries.
NOTE: Any changes from last week’s injury report will be bold.
Injured reserve, non-football injury list
Losing Alim McNeill to injured reserve is a huge blow to the defense, as he is a player the Lions won’t have an easy task to replace.
“Losing Mac during these four weeks is going to be tough,” Campbell said. “He’s been a reliable, stable and productive player for us. It’s really stood out this year. It’s just grown every year, but this year was big. He was a force for us. The guys had a lot of respect for him, and that hurts. But at the same time, this train keeps going.”
The Lions’ plan to replace McNeill is still unclear, but coach Dan Campbell has suggested that the player who will get the top shot will be the one who “proves his worth.”
On a positive note, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, McNeill’s knee injury is just a knee sprain and is expected to return to the active roster at the end of the season. in time for the Lions’ potential run to the playoffs.
While McNeill is just beginning his stint on injured reserve, long center Scott Daly is now eligible to return. That said, his status is a bit unknown at this point and it’s unclear how far along he is in his recovery process.
A final note from Detroit Lions reporter Tim Twentyman, who spoke with James Houston in the locker room and discovered some positive news:
Chatted with OLB James Houston today and he said he’s definitely expecting to be back before the playoffs. He said he’s excited and expects to make impact plays for the defense when he returns.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) December 6, 2023
There is no practice on Wednesday.
C Frank Ragnow (Toe/Back/Knee) – Knee is a NEW INJURY
Ragnow has been dealing with a toe injury for several seasons and has taken scheduled rest days throughout the season to help him manage the pain. While he’s had a back injury that’s been increasing in recent weeks, it hasn’t limited him much, if at all. Unfortunately, his knee injury, which occurred against the Saints last Sunday, appears to be what will keep him off the practice field on Wednesday.
“yes, look, I would say this, I feel like more than anything, we have good news, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be available this week,” Campbell said of Ragnow on Monday.
After Ragnow exited the Saints game, Graham Glasgow moved to center and rookie Colby Sorsdal entered the game at right guard. If Ragnow can’t go, that adjustment on the inside offensive line is expected to happen again, though Kayode Awosika and Dan Skipper will push Sorsdal to do reps.
It’s worth noting that multiple reporters reported that Bruce Irvin was not present at Wednesday’s practice, but because he’s on the practice squad, and not on the active roster, the Lions aren’t required to include his status on the injury report. Irvin injured his ankle while pressuring quarterbacks, but told reporters in the locker room Wednesday that he expects to return to practice Thursday. That’s good news because Campbell suggested the team plans to use more this week, indicating that this may not be too shocking an absence.
“yes, I mean, I think we’d like to work with him more,” Campbell said of Irvin. “And that was the plan last week. It was giving him some opportunities and then seeing where he is there, seeing how he handled it, seeing how his body is doing and then potentially getting him some more. So we’re looking into that. But yes, I’d say he’s earned it.”
Bruce Irvin has got a minor ankle sprain. Happened on his sack. He expects to return to practice tomorrow and play Sunday.
— Justin Rogers | Detroit News (@Justin_Rogers) December 6, 2023
LB Malcolm Rodriguez (Ankle) – NEW INJURY
Rodriguez saw his playing time increase on defense last week with Anzalone’s injury. It’s unclear when he suffered this injury, either during the game or during Wednesday’s practice, but we may know later in the week how serious it is.
With Alex Anzalone’s return to practice, the Lions have some wiggle room with Rodriguez’s availability.
QB Hendon Hooker (ACL) Evaluation Clock: 14 Days Left
LB Alex Anzalone (hand) – Returned to practice
Hooker remains on the NFI roster and is beginning his second of a possible three weeks in his evaluation. While he can be removed from the NFI and added to the active roster at any time, the expectations are that the team won’t be in a hurry to push him through the process, and he’ll likely use the 14 days he has left.
After missing last weekend’s game with a hand injury, Anzalone returned to practice Wednesday and was practicing with a bandage on his left hand, which can be seen in The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy video.
No longer on the injury report
RB David Montgomery (foot)
OL Jonah Jackson (ankle/wrist)
S Tracy Walker (shoulder)
S Ifatu Melifonwu (hand)
Montgomery was dealing with a foot injury last week, but he started for the Lions against New Orleans and didn’t seem to be too limited by the injury. You should be ready to go.
Jackson returned to his starting left guard position last weekend and was involved in every play.
Walker started and played his typical at-bat against the Saints, suggesting his shoulder wasn’t an issue.
Melifonwu has been dealing with a hand injury for a few weeks but has been able to play with a stick or cast in his hand. He’s been mostly limited to special teams, though that may be more due to his position on the depth chart than his injury.
Bear Injury Report
Here’s a look at the Bears’ initial injury report (incoming in bold):
OL Larry Borom (illness)
RB D’Onta Foreman (ankle)
DB Tyrique Stevenson (ankle)