When the Detroit Lions take the field Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, they will be without their top playmaker in D’Andre Swift.
It’s the first time Swift will miss a game this season. In Detroit’s first 11 games, he’s run the ball 140 times for 555 yards and four touchdowns. The Georgia product has also caught 56 passes for 429 yards and two scores.
He suffered a shoulder sprain in the Lions’ Thanksgiving loss to the Chicago Bears. Detroit head coach Dan Campbell provided an update on Swift’s status during his Friday press conference.
“Right now, I feel like he’s maybe a week away,” Campbell said. “I’m hoping that, as a matter of fact. He’s still pretty sore, but he’s getting better. He’s moving, but we’ll see where it goes here. I’ll know a lot more tomorrow. You’ll see how he feels day in and day out, but he’s pretty tender.”
Campbell said Wednesday the team will rely more on Jamaal Williams in Swift’s absence, while also factoring in a steady dose of both Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson. Though the injury may linger with Swift, Campbell said the team does not plan to shut Swift down for the year.
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Williams has played in nine games, carrying the ball 93 times for 388 yards and two scores. Igwebuike and Jefferson have played sparingly, but both scored touchdowns in Detroit’s Week 11 tie with Pittsburgh.
Campbell has taken over as the team’s play-caller. Without his best playmaker on offense, the Lions head coach now faces a new challenge while constructing his gameplan.
“It’s not easy to replace a guy like him, as dynamic as he’s been,” Campbell said. “I think it really becomes, that production is by committee now. Where does Swift’s production go now, to get it back? I would say we’re trying to find ways to spread it throughout this roster of skill players that we have. Jamaal’s gonna take a lot of that, so are the other backs, Jefferson, Godwin. But, some of the other pass production is gonna have to come from our receivers and tight ends.”
- Campbell said kicker Austin Seibert and wide receiver Quintez Cephus will not play another game in 2021. Seibert recently went on injured reserve after having surgery, while Cephus suffered a broken collarbone in Week 5 against the Vikings.
- The Lions plan to honor the victims of the Oxford High School tragedy during Sunday’s game. Campbell said the Lions have had shirts and hats made, and will wear decals on the back of their helmets.