The long-awaited return of star running back D’Andre Swift may be over for Lions fans this weekend. Swift has fully participated in every practice this week. If he plays this weekend, it could be huge for the Detroit Lions as they take on the Miami Dolphins.
Swift hasn’t played in a game since Week 3 in Minnesota. He suffered a shoulder injury in that game and had a lingering ankle injury that has also posed a problem. The bye week bought him some time, however, even though he participated in practice last week, he was still inactive for their matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.
The running back now has 3 full practices under his belt. Coach Duce Staley spoke on the importance of these practices on Friday.
“Just getting him back out there on the field, getting him back into the swing of things I’ll say, is important, just the little things from putting the ball away, running routes, making sure his eyes are in the right place. Just stuff we do every day with other running backs.”
Players, coaches, and fans are all waiting for his return. Swift had a major start to the season. In just Week 1, he rushed for a career-high of 144 yards in 15 carries, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. He added another 31 receiving yards, marking a career-high for all-purpose yards with 175.
The 23-year-old is a force to be reckoned with and has been missed on the offensive side of the ball. Jared Goff spoke on the possibility of Swift playing this Sunday earlier in the week.
“Yeah, it’d be huge. It’d be huge. I know he’s fighting through it and trying to get himself ready to go, but yeah, it’d be huge. He’s a great player and somebody we’d use.”
Swift/St. Brown Dynamic
The combination of D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown being injured has been a huge hit to the offensive tool belt. The wide receiver/running-back duo is elite on the field. Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson spoke this week on the importance these two have to this team.
“Oh yeah, they’re issues for defensive coordinators, so the quicker we can get both of those guys to full health, the better off we’re going to be, and we’ll get back to where we started this season for sure because both of those guys you get the ball in their hands, and they’re dynamite, so we’ll use all the guys that are available as we’ve been doing, and continue to highlight what they do best.”
It’s no secret the Lions have struggled with injuries, specifically in the wide-receiver room. Another piece of the offensive puzzle, Josh Reynolds, is also expected to play this weekend. Dan Campbell spoke Friday on the impact these three players have on the offense.
“Those two guys can account for a lot of offense. A lot of production on our offense. So, having both of them back is a big jolt. And look, I would say this too, (Lions WR Josh) Reynolds is out there practicing yesterday which was good. and he’s going to get another day’s work and that’s really the first time in two or three weeks we’ve had him in practice per se. He’s really been walkthrough, and then he’s gone into play. So, I know at this point this is the best he’s felt in a while. So, that helps. Those three players to have them certainly is going to help more than it hurts I can tell you that.”
The Detroit Lions will host the Miami Dolphins at Ford Field on Sunday at 1pm ET.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
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