More than 40% of Lions' active roster held out of Thursday's practice

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions were down more than 40% of the team's active roster on Thursday as the team continues to combat a flu outbreak in the facility. 

In total, 21 players were held out of practice. Many of the absences were precautionary, but there were three new players listed with an illness on the injury report — running back Jermar Jefferson and defensive linemen Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike. 

Lions running back Jermar Jefferson was among the players listed as ill Thursday.

In addition to those 21, the Lions added a second player to the COVID-19 reserve list Thursday afternoon, the team's second case this week. Cornerback Bobby Price, who was already dealing with a shoulder injury, joined center Evan Brown, who was placed on the list Monday. 

In regards to the flu, the three new cases bring the total number of players who have missed practice with an illness the past two weeks to 11. To combat the outbreak, the Lions kept 10 healthy and/or recovered players home as a precautionary measure, including most of the offensive and defensive linemen. 

Additionally, a handful of players missed practice due to reasons not related to the flu. That group included outside linebacker Austin Bryant (shoulder), tight end T.J. Hockenson (hand), linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder), outside linebacker Julian Okwara (ankle) and running back D'Andre Swift (shoulder). 

Quarterback Jared Goff, who missed Wednesday's practice after contracting the flu virus over the weekend, did participate in Thursday's short-handed practice. 

Hockenson, who had his left hand taped up, said he wasn't sure when he suffered the injury, only that his hand unexpectedly swelled this week. He noted nothing is broken and he expects to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers