Justin Rogers and John Niyo discuss the Lions' three-game losing streak and the team's chances of snapping it at home against Carolina. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park -- The Detroit Lions ruled out three players against the Carolina Panthers, including a pair of starters. The team announced wide receiver Marvin Jones, defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson and tight end Michael Roberts will not suit up for the contest.
All three suffered injuries in last week's loss to Chicago. Jones (knee) and Roberts (shoulder) were unable to return after exiting, while Robinson (ankle) managed to finish the game.
With Roberts out, the Lions have just two healthy tight ends. The team could use fullback Nick Bellore to supplement the group or promote Jerome Cunningham off the practice squad on Saturday.
Jones' absence clears the way for Bruce Ellington to make his debut
"I think he’s done a really good job here in the last couple weeks just learning our offense, learning our system, learning our verbiage," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "I would say it’s not similar to maybe some of the systems he’s been in before, so often times that’s some of the biggest hurdles, is just trying to get that terminology down."
In addition to the trio that have been ruled out, the Lions also listed defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (shoulder) as questionable. Ansah suffered his injury in the season opener and missed six games. He's been active the last two weeks in a significantly limited role.