Allen Park — The Detroit Lions will be down two key defensive players, and potentially a third, but the unit is also in line to get an important cog back this Sunday against the New York Giants.
The team officially ruled out cornerback Darius Slay and defensive tackle Mike Daniels Friday afternoon. Slay didn't practice all week after re-aggravating a hamstring injury against the Minnesota Vikings last weekend. Daniels, on the other hand, returned to practice, in a limited capacity, after missing more than a month. But he still isn't quite ready for game action.
"I think Mike tried to go out and come out of his hips and hit the bag, do some of those fundamental things that (he) hasn’t done from an individual standpoint in a while," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "I thought it was progress, from that standpoint."
In addition to Slay and Daniels, the Lions also ruled out rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye (knee), while listing defensive tackle Damon Harrison (groin) and fullback Nick Bawden (back) as questionable.
There's reason for optimism with Harrison, who was able to finish the game against the Vikings despite the groin issue. After a veteran rest day on Thursday, he was a full participant during Friday's practice.
The Lions have lost three straight and just traded starting safety Quandre Diggs. Lose another and the wheels might come off the bus. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
The Lions also figure to get back defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand after a lengthy absence. He's been out of action since suffering an elbow injury the first week of training camp, but practiced fully throughout this week and wasn't listed on Friday's report.
"I think Hand’s had a good week," Patricia said. "I think he’s gone in consecutively now and practiced at a high level. We were able to be in pads, which was really goo,d and then come back and practice the next day. ...We’re still trying to build a cumulative amount of repetitions with him because of what he missed earlier in the season, but I’d say we’re getting closer from that aspect of it."