The Detroit Lions will battle the Minnesota Vikings this weekend as they try to remain in the thick of the NFL playoff hunt, but the team may have to beat their NFC North counterparts without a couple of key players on the defensive end. Thursday's injury report indicated that defensive backs Chris Houston and Louis Delmas were unable to practice on Thursday and will likely miss Sunday's game.
Both players are listed on the injury report with knee injuries, but Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press indicates that their actual ailments have been a bit under-reported as Houston and Delmas both are suffered from torn MCLs. The good news, though, is that they are expected to return prior to the end of the season.
"We're going to get (all of our injured defensive players) back, it's just a matter of when," Schwartz said today. "We don't have anybody there that, other than maybe Lawrence Jackson, which is a little bit more long-term, but we haven't put any of those guys on the (injured reserve) and all those guys are expected back. And they're all making progress. They're all doing well, but whether or not they'll be available this week, it's still too early to say."
Linebacker Justin Durant, running back Kevin Smith and defensive linemen Nick Fairley and Lawrence Jackson all missed Thursday's practice due to injury. Brandon McDonald, Rob Sims and Willie Young were limited for a second day and Kyle Vanden Bosch was removed from the report after missing Wednesday's practice due to illness.