After running into some major injury troubles early in the season, the Detroit Lions are starting to see things turning in the right direction — and it starts with the team’s top running back.
After David Montgomery was forced to miss the team’s win over the Atlanta Falcons on September 24 with a thigh injury, the veteran back could be on track to play in Thursday night’s divisional showdown with the Green Bay Packers.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell gave a positive update on Montgomery on Tuesday, September 26 saying both he and left tackle Taylor Decker are trending in the right direction.
Lions Putting Pieces Back Together on Offense
Campbell spoke to reporters on Tuesday, saying the team is moving toward both Decker and Montgomery being back in the lineup. Decker missed both of the last two games with an ankle injury, while Montgomery’s thigh injury kept him out of last week’s game.
“Two that are trending the most positive right now would be Decker and D-Mo. Those are the two I’m starting to feel pretty good about,” Campbell said.
After joining the Lions in free agency, Montgomery has assumed the role of lead running back ahead of rookie Jahmyr Gibbs. The former Chicago Bears back has 37 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns through two games this season. Gibbs took over in Montgomery’s absence on Sunday, rushing 17 times for 80 yards in the 20-6 win over the Falcons.
The Lions will likely also see Decker return to the lineup, with the veteran tackle saying he was ready to play through the pain.
“It’s going to hurt, but as long as I can be functional, I can deal with the pain,” Decker said, via the Detroit News. “I’ve done it plenty of times before. I’m confident I can go out there and help us win, so it’ll be fun being back out there with everybody. Big thing is, just the days leading up to the game, just make sure it’s feeling as best as it can, and just go out there, you’re going to have the adrenaline pumping and I’m sure it’ll feel even better than it did today.”
Lions Still Hurting on Defense
While the Lions may be ready to get two key players back on offense, there are still a number of holes on the other side of the ball. The defense was hit hard by injuries through the first two games, losing safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson to a torn pectoral that is feared to be season-ending.
Gardner-Johnson spoke out about his injury this week, saying in an emotional Instagram post that he was devastated over the setback but ready to come back better than ever.
“I played the whole game, bro, with a torn arm,” Gardner-Johnson said. “You hope people see that. You know what I’m saying? I’ve got kids to feed, bro.”
“I’ll be back,” Gardner-Johnson added. “I’ve got to get my bag. I’ve got to lay down for a couple months. I’ll be back. I’ll catch you all.”
The Lions also put edge rusher James Houston and defensive lineman Josh Paschal on injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game with the Falcons.