The Detroit Lions appear set to get D'Andre Swift back for the first time in three weeks as the rookie running back is no longer in concussion protocol, putting him on track to play in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears. Swift was still absent from Thursday's practice after appearing on the injury report with an illness, which is not related to COVID-19, per Lions Insider Tim Twentyman.
Swift emerged as the No. 1 running back in Detroit over the course of the season, starting his first game in Week 10 before suffering his concussion. The Lions running back had 29 carries for 145 yards and eight catches for 101 yards in the two games prior to the injury, averaging 6.65 yards per touch. In nine games this season, Swift has 70 carries for 331 yards and four touchdowns (4.7 yards per carry) while recording 31 catches for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
While Swift was in concussion protocol, Adrian Peterson has been manning the No. 1 running back duties in Detroit -- while also being concerned for his young teammate. The concussion has affected Swift -- obviously not in a good way.
"To kind of see him not being himself, that energy level when you see him not being the same because of what he's dealing with, it hurts because I want to see him be successful," Peterson said, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. "And we miss him out there as well. So I just try to motivate him and tell him that things will get better.
"I encourage him to be smart because obviously after missing two games and he's still kind of dealing with some things it makes you put things in perspective and realize what's most important, and that's making sure that you're completely healthy and you're good."
Peterson has been a strong mentor for Swift in year one, as the second-round pick is making his mark for the Lions franchise. Swift leads all rookie running backs in scrimmage yards per touch (6.0) and is second in yards per catch by a running back (8.9), behind only Alvin Kamara. He's one of five running backs with 325 rushing yards and 275 receiving yards in 2020 and is the first Lions rookie running back since Barry Sanders (1989) to produce a game with 100 rushing yards and two scores (Week 6 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars).
The Lions are clearly better when Swift is on the field as they hope he is 100% for Sunday.