The Detroit Lions are getting ready to finish out the 2020 season this weekend, and given how they’ve struggled with health, it’s not a surprise to once again see a beefy injury report as the squad pushes toward Week 17 and a final date with the Minnesota Vikings.
This week, though health has improved a bit overall, there was still more than a few cases up in the air for the Lions as they try to finish out the year on a strong note. Once again, several key players are missing in action for Week 17.
Here’s a look at this week’s final inactive list for the Lions.
Lions Week 17 Inactives vs. Vikings
Stafford’s case was the biggest to remember here, but he is in for the final week of the season. Many argue the team should shut him down, but it never seemed likely to happen. Gollaay will miss the finale and Collins will as well, while Ragnow returns off the throat injury which kept him as a surprise scratch last week.
Lions Blown Out By Vikings in November
A lot has changed with the teams since the last time they met, Detroit has fired both their coach and general manager and seems to be struggling even worse on the field with injuries and other variables considered. The Vikings, meanwhile, have also had an up and down season since the big win over Detroit and have fallen out of the playoff picture with a couple of tough losses. This weekend’s game is all about maintaining some momentum for the future as well as draft positioning from both sides.
The first matchup, the Lions had no answers for Dalvin Cook, who got loose in a big way for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was easily the standout player in the win for Minnesota, and Irv Smith caught 2 of Kirk Cousins’ 3 touchdown passes on the day. It was a fairly easy 34-20 blowout for the Vikings on this day, and Detroit had a sloppy 3 turnovers on the afternoon to aid in their frustrating defeat.
Lions-Vikings Series History
Last season, the Vikings swept the Lions quite easily. Detroit made the game close at home in October, but lost later in the year in Minnesota in a game where Matthew Stafford didn’t play. Detroit had an advantage against the Vikings head to head prior to Matt Patricia’s arrival, but in the last few years, that has vanished. The Vikings have won 5 in a row in the series since 2017, and have swept the last few seasons convincingly. Prior to that, the Lions had won 3 in a row, so it’s been a series of streaks lately.
Despite the frustration of losing, at this point, Detroit’s season has already been lost, so it would likely be more advantageous for the Lions to lose out and be swept by Minnesota to boost their draft stock and bolster them more significantly into the top 10 for next year’s draft.
The Vikings have had the upper hand in the series lately, and that only seems more likely to continue into this final game of the 2020 season. That could be especially true given the injury statuses.