Lions Stock Watch: Vital Backup Safety Now Set to Take on Major Role

JuJu Hughes

Getty JuJu Hughes puts a hit on Justin Jefferson in a 2022 game.

The Detroit Lions may have been defeated by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, and they continue to pile up the bad news in terms of the injury infirmary.

With more players going out, however, there’s a good chance for some new names to step in and earn their spot on the roster. Such is going to be the case moving forward for the Lions, especially on offense and defense.

How does the stock watch look for this week? Here’s a quick glance for the team.

Stock up: Jamaal Williams, Running Back

Without Jamaal Williams serving as a short yardage sledgehammer this year, where would Detroit’s offense be? Thus far, he’s been phenomenal for the team with four touchdowns on the year and even better with the celebrations.

With D’Andre Swift looking dinged-up, it might be the best time yet to buy stock in Williams. He is going to be counted on to be a big part of the Detroit attack, and might be set to show even more of his value in the weeks ahead. Reason to dance, indeed.

Stock Down: Amani Oruwariye, Cornerback

The Lions were hoping for much better results out of Amani Oruwariye so far this season. A year after a six interception breakout, he’s missed one game with injury while picking up multiple flags and being picked on in defeat.

Oruwariye seemed to be coming on strong in 2021 and poised for a huge role, but it quickly has become clear that it could have been an aberration. Given how they’ve been picked on, the Lions could use Oruwariye to step up and clean up his mistakes.

Stock up: JuJu Hughes, Safety

JuJu Hughes managed to step up and play a major role for the Lions after Tracy Walker departed with injury, and he will be called upon to do that again with Walker set to be out for the year.

While the Lions could do anything to replace Walker including bringing a veteran into the mix, it feels safe to say they will stick with Hughes for a while, especially after he delivered a solid six tackle day against Minnesota. Until he proves he can’t play, expect the Lions to ride with him.

Stock Down: Austin Seibert, Kicker

At this point, Austin Seibert should be on seriously thin ice as Detroit’s kicker. With a 3-5 start to the season which included ugly misses from 47 and 54 yards on Sunday, it’s clear he has a long way to go to earn confidence, at least from the fanbase.

Seibert might also be facing another injury to start the week, which was revealed on Wednesday. The opportunity exists for someone to step up and perform better than Seibert. Alderick Rosas remains on the practice squad, and could be the first name the Lions turn to. Someone’s going to have to find a way to be more consistent, whether Seibert or another name.

Stock up: Alim McNeill, Defensive Tacke

While the Lions have seen problems along their offensive front in terms of injuries, quietly, the team’s defense has taken a hit as well. Alim McNeill has kept things chugging along, however.

McNeill continues to play at a high level as a space eater for the Lions run game. Teams have not had any luck up the gut against the Lions, but have had to turn their focus to running off tackle. That’s due in-part to the resurgent play of McNeill, who is building a wall.

Stock Down: DJ Chark, Wide Receiver

Since the fourth quarter of Week 1, DJ Chark has been missing on a milk carton in relative terms. With just 46 receiving yards, a bigger game from Chark could have been the difference for the Lions.

With an ankle injury to Amon-Ra St. Brown, the hope was Chark could step up, but Josh Reynolds nearly carried the team with 96 himself. The opportunity exists for him to be able to make some bigger plays for the offense, but thus far, he’s been hit or miss for the team. Week 3 was yet another miss for Chark as he attempts to find his way in the offense.

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