Oct 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Tyson Alualu (94) takes the field before playing the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Lions place DT Alim McNeill on IR, sign Tyson Alualu

The Detroit Lions placed starting defensive tackle Alim McNeill on injured reserve Tuesday due to a knee sprain.

He will miss at least the next four games following Sunday’s injury but could return in time for the playoffs.

McNeill, 23, is having a strong third season with a career-high five sacks and 31 tackles through 12 starts.

The 2021 third-round draft pick has eight sacks, 111 tackles and 19 quarterback hits in 46 career games (35 starts).

Detroit signed veteran defensive tackle Tyson Alualu to the practice squad on Tuesday to help fill the void.

Alualu, 36, was a first-round pick (10th overall) by Jacksonville in 2010 and spent the last six seasons in Pittsburgh.

He has 25 sacks, 70 QB hits, 416 tackles and four forced fumbles in 191 games (113 starts) with the Jaguars (2010-16) and Steelers (2017-22).

The Lions (9-3) made a few other moves ahead of this Sunday’s road game against the Chicago Bears (4-8).

They signed cornerback Kindle Vildor to the active roster from the practice squad, released linebacker Raymond Johnson from the practice squad and added offensive lineman Matt Farniok to the practice squad.

–Field Level Media

Nov 23, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jayden Reed (11) runs the ball against the Detroit Lions in the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Love, Packers extend Lions’ Thanksgiving skid to seven

Jordan Love passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns and the visiting Green Bay Packers surprised NFC North leader Detroit, 29-22, on Thanksgiving Day.

Christian Watson caught five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown for Green Bay (5-6). AJ Dillon gained a combined 81 yards rushing and receiving, while Jonathan Owens scored on a fumble return.

Detroit’s Jared Goff passed for 332 yards and two touchdowns but also lost three fumbles. David Montgomery rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown, while Amon-Ra St. Brown caught nine passes for 95 yards (8-3).

Detroit has lost seven straight on Thanksgiving Day.

The Packers led 23-6 at halftime.

Both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drives. Love connected with Watson on a 53-yard pass on the Packers’ first play from scrimmage. A 10-yard pass from Love to Jayden Reed completed the possession.

Goff connected with Sam LaPorta on a 7-yard scoring strike after the same connection produced a 31-yard gain. Riley Patterson missed the extra point, leaving Detroit down 7-6.

Green Bay answered with a 75-yard drive, completed by Love’s 10-yard pass to Tucker Kraft.

The Packers stretched their lead to 14 points when Goff fumbled while getting sacked. Owens scooped up the ball on one bounce and scored from 27 yards out. Anders Carlson missed the extra point.

Carlson made a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Detroit scored on its first possession of the second half on Montgomery’s 6-yard run.

The Lions attempted a run on a fake punt later in the quarter and it failed, giving Green Bay the ball on Detroit’s 23. Watson caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Love on third down. A two-point conversion try failed, leaving the score at 29-14.

Goff threw an incompletion on fourth down deep in Green Bay territory midway through the fourth quarter.

Goff connected with Josh Reynolds on a 12-yard touchdown pass and hit LaPorta for the two-point conversion but there were only 41 seconds left. The Packers recovered the onside kick, essentially ending the game.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field during warmups before action against the Las Vegas Raiders at Ford Field, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

Lions’ Dan Campbell willing to ‘help’ alma mater Texas A&M, not coach

Lions head coach Dan Campbell is willing to help his alma mater, but he doesn’t sound ready to leave his job in Detroit to return to Texas A&M.

Asked Friday if he has heard from anyone at Texas A&M about the coaching job since the Aggies fired Jimbo Fisher, Campbell replied, “Um, maybe.”

“But that’s all good. Certainly I know some people there and I love my school. That’s my alma mater and I want to do anything I can to help them but coach for them.”

Campbell grew up two hours from College Station in Clifton, Texas, and played tight end at Texas A&M from 1995-98.

He said he’ll share his thoughts and contacts with officials looking for Fisher’s replacement, but insists he’s not the guy for that job.

“Certainly, the hire is important and it needs to be somebody who understands the state of Texas, understands the history of Texas A&M and can communicate with young people and develop them,” Campbell said. “That’s where it starts, and strong leadership.”

Campbell’s Lions (7-2) lead the NFC North division by 1 1/2 games over the Minnesota Vikings and trail only the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) in the NFC chase for homefield advantage in the postseason.

Campbell, 47, is in his third season as head coach of the Lions and has a record of 19-23-1 with Detroit. He signed a six-year contract when he took the job in January 2021.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs (26) runs against Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023.

Lions expect RB Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring) to play vs. Ravens

The Detroit Lions expect rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs to return from a hamstring injury and to carry the load Sunday against the host Baltimore Ravens.

Gibbs sustained the injury in practice on Oct. 6. Leading rusher David Montgomery is out with a rib cartilage injury and backup Craig Reynolds has been limited at practice this week by hamstring and toe injuries.

“(Gibbs) looks good. Yeah, I think he’s gonna be a go,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Friday. “He looked pretty good yesterday.”

Gibbs has rushed for 179 yards on 39 attempts and caught 14 passes for 70 yards in four games (one start) since being selected by Detroit with the 12th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

“Certainly, I think he’s going to need to take the load of it. We’re just gonna have to see where he’s at,” Campbell said. “I’d like to say we want to be careful with him, but the reality of it is, we need him. So, we’ll go as far as he can take us here, trying to be as smart as we can, but he’s got to go. And he’s ready.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) gets sacked by Detroit Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes (55) in the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Goff, defense carry Lions past Falcons 20-6

Behind two total touchdowns by quarterback Jared Goff and a stout defensive effort, the Detroit Lions earned a 20-6 home victory over the visiting Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Goff passed for 243 yards, while Lions wideout Amon-Ra St, Brown had a team-high nine receptions for 102 yards. Tight end Sam LaPorta added eight receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Atlanta quarterback Desmond Ridder, under constant pressure from the Lions defense, completed 21 of 38 passes for 201 yards.

Falcons’ rookie tailback Bijan Robinson, the NFL’s second-leading rusher entering the game, was limited to 33 yards on 10 carries. He also added four receptions for 27 yards.

Goff connected with rookie tight end Sam LaPorta for a 45-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to give the Lions a 10-3 lead. With 9:50 remaining in the game, Goff added a 3-yard scoring run to put the Lions (2-1) up 20-3.

The Lions’ defense had seven sacks, with Aidan Hutchinson credited with two, and limited the Falcons’ rushing attack to 44 total yards.

A sack and forced fumble/recovery by Hutchinson on Atlanta’s final drive sealed the victory. Detroit defensive back Brian Branch had a team-high 11 tackles.

Jahmyr Gibbs started at running back for the Lions in place of the injured David Montgomery (thigh) and outrushed his rookie counterpart Robinson. Gibbs had 17 carries for 80 yards.

Falcons tight ends Kyle Pitts had five receptions for 41 yards, while Jonnu Smith had five catches for 37 yards.

Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Patterson capped an 11-play, 48-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 to go in the first quarter. It was the first points allowed in the opening quarter by Atlanta’s defense this season.

The Falcons (2-1) answered on their ensuing possession when kicker Younghoe Koo capped a 10-play, 45-yard drive with a 48-yard field goal.

After LaPorta’s second-quarter TD, the Lions drove to the Falcons’ 4-yard line on their next possession, but a holding call on tackle Penei Sewell on second-and-goal backed Detroit up to the 14-yard line and the Lions settled for a 24-yard field goal to increase their lead to 13-3 with 1:53 to play in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Lions ride roller coaster into visit from Falcons

Heading into their home opener last week, the Detroit Lions were riding a wave of confidence and praise.

They were coming off a spirited road win over reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City on national TV in the season opener. The euphoria died down quickly last Sunday.

Following a humbling 37-31 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, when several key players were injured, the Lions look vulnerable again. They will try to bounce back during a visit from the surprising Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell believes some adversity could be a blessing.

“We’re back to reality, we’re back in the mud,” Campbell said. “It’s doom and gloom outside of this building, in this world. Man, let’s just hunker down and go to work. … Challenge accepted.”

The task will be much more challenging after two defensive starters, safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (torn pectoral muscle) and defensive end James Houston (ankle fracture), were placed on the injured list.

Two of their top offensive playmakers, running back David Montgomery (thigh) and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (toe), did not practice Wednesday.

Tracy Walker, who missed most of last season with an Achilles injury, will step in for Gardner-Johnson.

“We’re fortunate to have depth at a number of areas and one of them is at that position,” Campbell said. “Having a guy like Tracy, someone who we’ve got a lot of faith in, a lot of trust in, that alleviates a lot of pressure and stress for us.”

Lions quarterback Jared Goff had the third-longest streak in NFL history without an interception snapped by the Seahawks’ Tre Brown, who returned the second-half interception for a touchdown. Otherwise, Goff was sharp with 323 yards passing and three touchdowns.

“He’s played at a high level for a long time,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “Been in a lot of big games. Good player, live arm. That’s what people loved about him coming out (of college). I always love when the guy’s a No. 1 pick and they act like he’s some kind of reclamation project. This guy’s a (darn) good player.”

The matchup Sunday will feature the top two running backs chosen in the draft. Atlanta’s Bijan Robinson, the No. 8 overall pick, rushed for 124 yards in the Falcons’ 25-24 win over the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. He also has 10 receptions in his first two games.

“He’s an elusive back,” Campbell said of Robinson. “He looks like a power back but he’s really got excellent feet. You give him a lane, give him space, that’s where he’s pretty dangerous.”

Robinson has formed a 1-2 punch with power back Tyler Allgeier, who has 31 carries to Robinson’s 29. Allgeier has rushed for 123 yards and two TDs.

“That’s why we draft (Robinson),” Smith said. “We had a belief in how he fit our program.”

Detroit running back Jahmyr Gibbs, the No. 12 overall draft pick, has averaged 4.2 yards per on 14 carries and has caught nine passes. His workload could increase if Montgomery is sidelined.

Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder passed for 237 yards against the Packers, throwing for one touchdown and rushing for another. The Falcons (2-0) have won the past four games that Ridder has started.

“We’ll never be down for the count,” Ridder said. “We’re going to fight until that clock hits zero.”

Offensive tackle Taylor Decker (ankle), safety Kerby Joseph (hip) and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (knee, hamstring) are among the other injury concerns for Detroit (1-1). Defensive end Calais Campbell (rest) was the only Falcons player to not practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media