Lions star D’Andre Swift sidelined with ankle injury, what’s next for Lions’ running game?

D'Andre Swift is dealing with an ankle injury, and his absence would leave a major void in the Lions' offense on Sunday against Washington.

Detroit Lions star running back D’Andre Swift didn’t practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury, a development that greatly impacts their offense.

Swift limped after running a pattern out of the backfield during the Lions’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. In that game, he rushed for a career-high 144 yards on 15 carries.

There is concern that this injury could sideline or limit Swift this week against the Washington Commanders, according to a league source.

What’s next if D’Andre Swift can’t play?

If Swift is unavailable, the Lions would go with Jamaal Williams as his replacement. The team promoted Justin Jackson from the practice squad to the active roster, but he is primarily a return man at this point.

The Lions also have the hard-running Craig Reynolds as another back, who was featured on Hard Knocks, in reserve behind Swift.

If Swift can’t go, it’s a huge blow to the Lions’ offense. He had 18 total touches for 175 yards of total offense and one touchdown against Philadelphia.

Loss of a dynamic threat

When healthy, Swift is one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL. A former second-round draft pick from Georgia, Swift (5-foot-9, 211 pounds), has rushed for 1,282 career yards and 14 touchdowns with 111 catches for 840 yards and four scores.

He’s fast, versatile, and elusive.

Swift has run the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and has the speed to go the distance.

Signed to a four-year, $8.5 million contract, Swift split time as a rookie with Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. He had 521 yards and eight touchdown runs and 46 catches for 357 yards and two scores in 13 games.

Last season, Swift was again limited to 13 games.

He was more productive, though, as he gained 617 yards and scored five times. He caught 62 passes for 452 yards and two scores.

The Lions need him to make their offense go, but his health is now a question mark for the second game of the season following the best performance of his young career.

Fantasy impact of Swift’s injury

by Ben Rolfe, Director of Fantasy Football Content

The move from the Lions to sign Jackson earlier in the day makes more sense, given this news. The fact the Lions felt they needed Jackson is a concern for fantasy managers. Swift is now earning that dreaded injury concern tag for fantasy, as he seems to deal with these regularly. If Swift can play, we have no idea how limited he will be, making it hard to trust him in Week 2.

If Swift misses time, Williams would become a starting option in all leagues. Reynolds is expected to be the next option, but Jackson’s presence could hamper any fantasy value he has. If Reynolds emerges as the clear number two behind Williams, then he could have deeper league value, depending on the number of touches he sees. If Williams is available on your waiver wire, grab him. In deeper leagues, Reynolds is an intriguing stash.

FEATURED
PFN NEWSLETTER

Every day, get free NFL updates sent straight to your inbox!