QB Jeff Driskel lands on injury report; Lions reportedly tried to re-sign Josh Johnson
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions didn't practice Monday, but the team was required to released a projected injury report ahead of Thursday's game with the Chicago Bears.
In addition to the slew of expected names on that report, including quarterback Matthew Stafford, defensive end Trey Flowers and wide receiver Marvin Hall, there was a concerning addition: Stafford's backup and the starting quarterback the past three weeks, Jeff Driskel.
Driskel was projected to be limited by a hamstring injury, which is extra concerning given the importance of mobility to his success.
"He’s sore from the game yesterday," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "He ran a lot and his hamstring is a little tight. We’ll see how the week goes from that standpoint, and I’m sure he’ll get treatment and all of that stuff.
"I think we can all see his athleticism out there on the field and what that brings from that standpoint, but he is a quarterback, so he can stand in the pocket and throw and do some of those things. Some things like that can just be handled by the position, I would say more than anything else. It’d be different if I think if it was a wide receiver.
Driskel's injury also explains a Monday report from ESPN that the Lions explored re-signing veteran Josh Johnson, but were blocked by the XFL, the rebooting league where he recently agreed to play.
“I’m not really sure the details of what happened with that," Patricia said. "Certainly, he was just someone that was here that knew the system that we had some familiarity with, so we were just kind of doing our due diligence there.”
It remains to be seen whether the Lions add another quarterback this week. If Driskel is unable to go, the team would likely turn to David Blough, an undrafted rookie the team acquired in a trade from the Cleveland Browns just prior to the start of the season.
Blough briefly served as Stafford's backup immediately after the team signed Driskel in September and has been back in that role since Stafford has been sidelined.
"He takes those reps also in practice just to be ready to go, but we’ll see," Patricia said. "I think that room in general — all three of those guys work really hard every single week, and I think obviously they follow along with Matthew and kind of his preparation and what he does. They’re a very competitive group, so they like to out-compete each other even with the preparation part of it. I think Blough falls right in line with those other two guys as far as the prep part of it."
In positive news heading into the Thanksgiving matchup with the Bears, safety Tracy Walker (knee), center Frank Ragnow (concussion) and defensive tackle Da'Shawn Hand were all projected to be limited practice participants. That trio didn't practice last week or play Sunday against Washington.
Projected non-participants were Stafford (back), Flowers (concussion), Hall (foot), cornerback Rashaan Melvin (ribs) and return man Jamal Agnew (ankle).