Lions dial back practice intensity; Dan Campbell provides injury updates
Allen Park — After back-to-back padded practices made for a crowded training room this week, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell opted to dial back the intensity of Thursday's practice, conducting a walk-through to allow the roster some time to recuperate.
“The guys, I thought, have done a hell of a job up to this point,” Campbell said. “The way they’re practicing, it’s what I had hoped for. And, you know, I really felt like these guys attacked it. They've come out, they've put in the work. We had an outstanding day yesterday. Now, there was slop we got to clean up, fundamentally, but I’ll tell you what, as far as coming out and trying to get stuff done, putting in the work, competing, giving everything you got, trying to win the rep, understanding what we’re trying to get done, what we wanted to get done, it was a pretty aggressive practice.
“This is what I wanted, so we’re going to have a kind of extended walk-through today. I’m much more about quality over quantity. I didn’t want to come out and just continue to — you can only redline them for so long before something blows out, and you’re not going to get the work you want. You'll come out here at some point and your body just regulates itself and you can't get the output you (want to) get. We are getting excellent work. These guys are revving hot, revving high, so we've gotta back down and we're going to do that today."
On Wednesday, the Lions were down several players to start the practice and saw several others leave the session with minor injuries. Campbell provided updates on several of those who are dealing with issues.
The most concerning is a Grade 1 hamstring strain that will keep backup offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby sidelined the next week or so. But Campbell sees that as an opportunity for some of the other reserves, namely Matt Nelson, to get some additional reps as they battle for jobs.
"Nelson’s going to get a lot of those reps, which is good cause we’re working him kind of guard and tackle," Campbell said. "Let’s find out who’s up next. It’s Nelson, it’s (Logan) Stenberg. You get more reps on guys you want to see up there. Maybe it’s (Tommy) Kraemer, our young rookie from Notre Dame who’s getting some of those reps."
Among the players working through less significant injuries are running back D'Andre Swift, linebacker Julian Okwara and cornerback Jerry Jacobs.
Okwara left Wednesday's practice after the trainers took a long look at his chest and side. Campbell reported the injury ended up being bruised ribs, which shouldn't limit the second-year linebacker's practice time. It's expected he'll be back out on the field Friday.
As for Swift, he's been battling through a minor groin injury and the Lions are being cautious, making sure not to exacerbate the issue.
"He's bound pretty tight and he runs hot, so we're trying to get him (work) and then back him down," Campbell said.
With Jacobs, he went to the locker room after getting his leg stepped on during Wednesday's practice, but like Okwara, it ended up merely being a bruise.
One other player who had sat out the past two days, defensive tackle Michael Brockers, sounds as if he's getting the veteran treatment, as opposed to dealing with a specific ailment.
"We’re just trying to be smart with Brock, man,” Campbell said. “Brock is a 10-year vet, and he’s slugged it out for a long time now. We kind of know what he can do, so we’re just trying to be smart. He’ll get his reps, they’ll come, but we kind of know what he is.”
In addition to the recent on-field injuries, the Lions were able to get veteran center Evan Brown back in the fold, activating him off the non-football injury list ahead of Thursday's practice.