That loss the Lions had in Seattle has hurt them beyond the standings, and it looks like it’ll help the Cardinals and Bruce Arians’ improving run game. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata didn’t practice all week with a bad calf, and he looks like a long shot to be able to play Sunday against the Cardinals. The Lions had already lost their other starting defensive tackle, Tyrunn Walker, after Walker broke his leg against the Seahawks.
UPDATE: Ngata is indeed out, as is tight end Eric Ebron and running back Joique Bell.
Ngata and Walker are the two replacements the Lions had for the now-departed Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Suh and Fairley gave Detroit a formidable front. Ngata and Walker had slid in nicely, but now, Detroit is scrambling. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are getting Andre Ellington back to add to Chris Johnson and David Johnson. Plus, guard Mike Iupati has had a game to knock the rust off. Through four games, the Cardinals have 487 yards rushing and have averaged 4.4 yards a carry — running numbers that they haven’t had in years. Their top three backs all average at least 4.4 yards a carry. David Johnson and Ellington, in a smaller sample size, are at 5.8 and 5.7 yards a carry, respectively.
It isn’t all bad news for the Lions. Linebacker DeAndre Levy, one of the best in the league last season, is coming off an injury and is ready for his season debut. But the Cardinals seem set to use to run on the road, and having starters out in the heart of the defense can’t hurt.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Chris Johnson, David Johnson, Haloti Ngata, Lions, Tyrunn Walker
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