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The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears for the Week 12 Thanksgiving matinee in Ford Field. Several recent injuries and lineup changes have jumbled Detroit’s depth chart over the last few weeks, so it’s time to update who exactly will be playing for the Lions against their NFC North rivals.
(AP Photo/Don Wright)
Starter: Jared Goff
Reserves: Tim Boyle, David Blough
Goff will start as long as his strained oblique muscle is healed enough to allow it. Boyle floundered in his first career start in Week 11 but remains the top backup option. Blough has not played in 2021.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Starter: D’Andre Swift
Reserves: Jamaal Williams, Jermar Jefferson, Godwin Igwebuike
Swift took over as the starter when Williams missed time and has not looked back. He has topped 130 rushing yards in each of the last two games. Williams remains the team’s top between-the-tackles option and is healthy for the first time in weeks.
Jefferson is questionable with a knee and ankle injury suffered in Week 10. Igwebuike plays almost exclusively on special teams as the Lions’ primary return man.
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Starters: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond
Reserves: Josh Reynolds, KhaDarel Hodge, Trinity Benson, Tom Kennedy
St. Brown plays mostly in the slot and works the short routes effectively. He leads the WRs in targets and catches. Raymond is the primary vertical threat. No other active receiver has more than 18 targets or eight receptions on the season.
Reynolds joined the Lions lineup last week and had a rough Detroit debut. Benson is battling injury and could be out for Week 12. Kennedy gets some run as a punt returner.
(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Starters: T.J. Hockenson, Jason Cabinda (FB)
Reserve: Brock Wright
Hockenson leads the Lions in receptions (54), passing targets (70) and receiving yards (499). Cabinda plays a little over 20 snaps per game as a fullback and H-back but rarely touches the ball.
Wright, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame, has caught 16 passes in the last four weeks, the only games he’s played.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Starters (L-R): Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Evan Brown, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Penei Sewell
Reserves: Ryan McCollum, Tommy Kraemer, Will Holden, Matt Nelson
The starting five has been very good even without Pro Bowl C Frank Ragnow in the middle. Vaitai has a concussion and is expected to miss Thursday’s game. He will be replaced by Kraemer, an undrafted rookie who played well in his absence in Week 11. Sewell has not allowed a sack in two weeks after moving from the left to the right tackle spot once Decker returned from a finger injury.
Nelson would be the primary reserve tackle but he’s battling an injury. Holden takes his place and could see time as an extra blocker in jumbo packages.
Starters: Alim McNeill (NT), Nick Williams, Michael Brockers
Reserves: Levi Onwuzurike, John Penisini
The starting three have been consistent all season. Penisini backs up McNeill on the interior. Onwuzurike is coming off the most impactful game of his rookie season.
The depth took a hit with Da’Shawn Hand going on IR this week and Kevin Strong signing with the Titans. Bruce Hector could be elevated from the practice squad, where he’s been protected nearly every week.
(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Starters: Trey Flowers, Charles Harris, Alex Anzalone, Jalen Reeves-Maybin
Reserves: Austin Bryant, Julian Okwara, Derrick Barnes, Jessie Lemonier, Anthony Pittman, Josh Woods
Flowers and Harris are the pass-rushing OLBs, with Anzalone and Reeves-Maybin working off-ball duties. Flowers has not practiced this week and has been out with an injury, so he’s not expected to play vs. the Bears. Bryant will take his spot, as he did in Week 11. Harris leads the Lions in sacks, with Anzalone tops in tackles.
Okwara (OLB) and rookie Barnes (ILB) are the only other reserves who typically play on defense. Lemonier and Woods have not taken a snap yet.
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Starters: Amani Oruwariye, Jerry Jacobs, AJ Parker (slot)
Reserves: Mark Gilbert, Bobby Price
The top trio has steadily progressed throughout the season. Jacobs and Parker are undrafted rookies who have been thrust into the lineup due to injuries. Oruwariye leads the Lions with four interceptions.
Gilbert and Price don’t typically play on defense unless one of the players above them is injured. Corey Ballentine was recently brought back to the practice squad after being waived and could be a game-day elevation for depth purposes.
Starters: Tracy Walker, Will Harris
Reserves: Dean Marlowe, Jalen Elliott, C.J. Moore
Walker and Harris never leave the field unless they’re hurt. Harris plays more of a strong safety role, Walker more of a coverage specialist in coordinator Aaron Glenn’s split-safety defense.
Marlowe plays about a third of the defensive snaps. Elliott and Moore play almost exclusively on special teams, where Moore has stood out all season.
(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Kicker: Riley Patterson
Punter: Jack Fox
Long snapper: Scott Daly
Patterson should make his Detroit debut after being inactive last week. Aldrick Rosas was elevated from the practice squad and kicked well in his first time in a Lions uniform. Fox is one of the NFL’s best and Daly has been flawless in his first season as the long snapper.