Author of the article:
Jim Parker • Windsor Star
Nov 21, 2020 • • 3 minute read
Neither the Detroit Lions nor the Carolina Panthers will be putting their best roster foot forward on Sunday.
Both clubs are scrambling to fill holes due to injury prior to the NFC match at Bank of America Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.
“That’s what I love about our room” Lions’ running back Adrian Peterson said on Friday. “You have a lot of guys dialed in and, if this situation happens, you just have to go in and do what we practice all week.
“Nothing has changed with some of the injuries we have. There’s plenty of games I’ve played hurt and you grind through it.”
After being relegated to the backup behind rookie D’Andre Swift last week, Peterson is back as the starter with Swift, who had 149 combined yards last week in his first NFL start, out with a concussion.
“It’s like the next many up,” Peterson said. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but we have to have a next-man-up mentality until he’s healthy.”
Swift isn’t the only Lion sidelined on offence with receiver Kenny Golladay will miss his second-straight game with a hip injury while slot receiver Danny Amendola is out with a hip injury suffered last week against Washington
Meanwhile, quarterback Matthew Stafford has been limited all week in practice with a right thumb injury suffered against Washington. Reports called the injury a partially torn ligament, but Stafford refused to go into detail.
“I’m not going to confirm anything,” said Stafford, who is listed as questionable. “Everybody out there is playing with something, so there’s no excuse for playing poorly. Just go out and play the best to your ability and try and help us win. That’s what I’ll try to do if I can get out there.”
Carolina is also struggling with running back Christian McCaffery (shoulder) set to miss his eighth game this season while quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (knee) is listed as questionable after being limited in practice all week.
“I love Teddy,” said Lions’ defensive end Everson Griffen, who had Bridgewater as a teammate when he played in Minnesota. “I can’t wait to see him. I hope I get to hit him a few times. He’s playing great ball, too.”
Mike Davis will again start in place of McCaffrey while Lions’ head coach Matt Patricia said his club is preparing for Bridgewater and reacting to any change to backup P.J. Walker or Will Grier.
“We have a phenomenal scouting department,” Patricia said. “We have a lot of information on these guys through the course of the year of what they’ve been and the evaluation of who they are as players, then we’ll certainly go through whatever tape you can find available, and kind of get that assessment and see if that still stacks up and is accurate to where they are now. From there, you try to project, ‘How does it fit in to the schematics of what they’re doing offensively,’ and try to do your best to prepare for that.”
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A win gets Detroit back to .500 heading into the club’s U.S. Thanksgiving Day home game against Houston (2-7), but the club has struggled to put games away against lesser teams like Atlanta (3-6) and Washington (2-7).
“Obviously we start off pretty good a couple of games, but it always ends up a dogfight towards the end,” Lions’ linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. said. “We have to continue to start fast and start finishing strong.”
Carolina has plenty of receiving weapons in Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, but the Lions want to force the Panthers to have to throw to win.
“They can run the ball well and we have to make sure we go out there and dominate play,” Griffen said. “They run well, (so) stop the run and execute on the pass.”
Who: Detroit Lions (4-5-0) at Carolina Panthers (3-7-0)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Bank of American Stadium
TV/Radio: FOX 2 (Cable 7) and WJR 760-AM
Line: Lions by 2½.