LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Allen Park — The Lions were hopeful defensive tackle Nick Fairley could return for the start of the postseason, but coach Jim Caldwell just about ruled out the possibility of him playing in Sunday's first-round matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

"It'd be a miracle," Caldwell said during his weekly news conference Monday. "So I can't rule it out, but it'd be a miracle."

Fairley has missed eight straight games after suffering a right knee injury in a Week 8 win over the Atlanta Falcons in London. He's no longer on crutches, but has not yet returned to practice.

"It's a possibility," Caldwell said when asked if Fairley could return at some point this postseason.

The Lions must make a roster move Monday to reinstate center Dominic Raiola from suspension, but Caldwell said the move won't be placing Fairley or right guard Larry Warford injured reserve.

Warford suffered a left knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to the Packers and did not return. Caldwell did not have an update on his status Monday.

"Not certain," he said. "Not ruled out at this stage, but not certain yet. We'll have to see."

Veteran Garrett Reynolds replaced Warford because rookie Travis Swanson was playing center with Raiola suspended. If Warford can't play, Swanson would start at right guard, as he did for the three games Warford missed earlier this year with another left knee injury.

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/jkatzenstein

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE