Allen Park — The hits keep coming for the Detroit Lions.
On Saturday, the team placed linebacker Jarrad Davis and guard Joe Dahl on injured reserve. To fill the roster spots, the Lions promoted running back Wes Hills and offensive tackle Dan Skipper off the practice squad.
For the second time this year, Davis suffered a right ankle sprain, exiting in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. He was able to return to the game, but didn't record a tackle for the first time in his career.
Davis missed the first two games of the season after suffering a similar injury in the preseason. The former first-round pick finishes his year with 63 tackles, 2.0 sacks and three forced fumbles in 11 games.
Dahl, meanwhile, showed up on the injury report this week with both back and knee injuries and had already been ruled out for this Sunday's game.
With offensive tackle Rick Wagner also ruled out, Skipper provides some much-needed depth up front. Tyrell Crosby is expected to start in place of Wagner against the Buccaneers.
As for Hills, he's needed to fortify a depleted backfield. Bo Scarbrough is banged up and listed as questionable with a rib injury, while Kerryon Johnson is still a week away from being eligible to return off injured reserve.
An undrafted rookie, Hills spent his college years between Delaware and Slippery Rock. After a pair of injury-shortened seasons in 2015-16, and being ruled academically ineligible the 2017 campaign, he landed at Division II Slippery Rock. There he rushed for 1,714 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games, earning All-American honors.
He initially signed with the Arizona Cardinals and spent the offseason with the team, rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown with 13 carries during the preseason.
After being cut by the Cardinals, the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Hills found his way to Detroit's practice squad in October. He was passed up for a promotion in favor of Scarbrough last month, but will now Hills gets an opportunity to show what he can do.
"It would mean the world," Hills said about the potential promotion on Friday. "I've dreamed about playing in my first NFL game since I was a kid. I've been fortunate and blessed to get an opportunity here, on the practice squad, and I'm doing everything I can to show them what I can do. If I do get that opportunity, I'm going to make the most of it."
In four starts, Scarbrough has paced the Lions with 301 rushing yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He and Hills have formed a fast bond in Detroit and the two currently room together.
"He helps me out, he guides me," Hills said. "He's been in it longer than I have. He gives me advice and pushes me to run harder. At the end of the day, not everything in life is handed to you, so you've got to take it. I have an opportunity to do that and looking to make the most of it."