The Detroit Lions are still searching for the first win of the season. Unfortunately, when they face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, it’ll be without D’Andre Swift.

The Lions confirmed that Swift would not play this week as he is nursing a sprained shoulder. Swift being out of action paves the way for Jamaal Williams to get the start vs. the Vikings. It also means that Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson should see extra touches.

Even though Swift is out this week, Dan Campbell doesn’t feel Swift will be out “multiple weeks,” as previously reported.

“Right now, I feel like he may be a week away,” said Campbell. “He’s still pretty sore, but he’s getting better. He’s improving, but we’ll see where it goes here. I know a lot more tomorrow.”

“You see how he feels day in and day out, but as of right now, he’s very tender.”

Campbell has the mindset that Swift can return this season, but is that line of thinking correct?

After Sunday, there are only five games left this season. With the Lions currently sitting at 0-10-1, the playoffs are not in their sight. Swift already missed a significant amount of training camp and the preseason with a groin injury. It was the catalyst for his slow start this season.

Detroit Lions RB D'Andre Swift
Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) runs with the ball en route to a touchdown during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Being fair to Swift, he did work himself into shape and became one of the Lions’ best players this season. He currently sits at 555 rushing yards and four touchdowns. And on the receiving side, he has 56 receptions for 429 yards and two touchdowns.

Because of D’Andre Swift’s value to the Lions’ future, Dan Campbell should re-consider shutting him for the season.

It’s admirable that Swift is reportedly eager to return. And it’s great that he has a coach that shares the same sentiment. A coach and one of his star players being on the same page is an excellent sign of unity.

Despite that, Campbell needs to look at the bigger picture. He has to protect Swift from himself. In Campbell’s own words, Swift is pretty tender. Why risk your star player with no incentive or prize on the line?

After the Detroit Lions play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, their last five games are against the Broncos, Cardinals, Falcons, Seahawks, and Packers. Outside of the Falcons, the other four teams are top-12 against the run. Swift’s earliest return would be Week 14 vs. the Broncos. And their defense is eighth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and tied for first in rushing touchdowns allowed.

Swift shouldn’t “heal” from an injury only to suit up against one of the league’s top rush defenses. It makes no sense. It should be the Lions’ day after Christmas game vs. the Falcons if he returns.

Dan Campbell and the Lions will ultimately do what they feel is best. If they’re still winless when the medical staff clears D’Andre Swift, expect him to play, even if it’s not the best decision.

Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.

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By Published On: December 3rd, 2021Categories: NFL

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