Lions Likely to Be Without Pair of Key Players Due to Brain Injuries

Jonah Jackson

Getty Jonah Jackson playing along the Lions offensive front in 2021.

The Detroit Lions sustained a tough injury against the New York Giants in Week 11 when cornerback Jeff Okudah went down with a concussion.

Okudah, appearing to be hit with friendly fire, went down and exited the field. He didn’t return to the game, and was quickly ruled out with the brain injury. On a short week, that means Okudah is probably not available for Week 12.

Speaking after the game on Sunday, November 20, Dan Campbell didn’t seem optimistic that Okudah would be able to play on the short week given the way the league’s protocol works and the short turnaround the team faces.

“Yeah he’ll be out. I mean I can’t imagine (he plays). I’m pretty sure we just talked about it. I don’t think there’s any way possible he can play,” Campbell said at the time.

The week has only proven the coach right. Okudah has been sidelined in estimated practice reports all week long, and the timing is not on his side in terms of being able to come back.

Additionally, the Lions could be in a spot of trouble with guard Jonah Jackson. Originally sidelined with an illness, the ailment was revealed to be a concussion on the injury report Tuesday, meaning he is unlikely to be able to turn things around in time to play.

Both players being down will mean others have to step up in a big way. It’s just another injury challenge for the Lions this season.

Okudah Out to Start Week

In terms of the injuries this week, it’s a short setup with the game on Thursday afternoon. That means a condensed window where the Lions will try to buy their players time with walkthroughs instead of practice.

Estimated practice, however, still showed that Okudah was sidelined on Monday, November 21 as well as Tuesday, November 22 with the concussion. That continued to show that he is unlikely to suit up on the field this week for the team.

Evan Brown, C. No practice (Ankle)
Charles Harris, DL. No practice (Groin)
Jonah Jackson, G. No practice (Concussion)
Jeff Okudah, CB. No practice (Concussion)
Josh Paschal, DL. No practice (Knee)
Frank Ragnow, C. No practice (Foot), Limited Practice Tuesday
Josh Reynolds, WR. No practice (Back), Limited Practice Tuesday
DJ Chark, WR. Limited practice (Ankle)
Malcolm Rodriguez, LB. Full practice (Elbow)
D’Andre Swift, RB. Full practice (Ankle/Shoulder)

Naturally, the Lions have lots of injury issues to monitor this week, but it seems as if the team will get a happy return from Reynolds while perhaps having to wait on Okudah and Jackson for another week.

Okudah Believes He’ll Be Alright for Lions

In the case of Okudah, the player seems to think he will be alright, indicating that not all is lost for Okudah and the Lions moving forward. Okudah had access to his phone during the second half and sent fans a message they appreciated.

As the cornerback said, he’s good, implying that the injury is nothing to worry about long-term.

“I’m Good,” Okudah tweeted simply as the game was playing out.

Whether Okudah is good or not will be something that the concussion protocol has to sort out, but this could be a case where the team loses Okudah temporarily, but he is able to return the next week. It happened to wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown in addition to safety Kerby Joseph this season.

The Lions face a quick turnaround playing on Thanksgiving, but as Okudah seems to think, he will be alright. In the short term, the team is more likely to see his status change for Week 13 rather than Week 12.

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