Sources: Lions face possible roster shortage

The Detroit Lions have placed six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list this past week and also had 12 additional players and six coaches who battled the flu, sources told ESPN, leading to a potential roster crunch ahead of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

One of the players placed on the COVID list was running back Jamaal Williams, who went through practice Friday before being informed afterward that he had tested positive, according to a source.

The Lions are concerned that anyone around Williams could either contract the virus or be deemed a close contact; those tests will continue Sunday morning in Denver as the team awaits news if any further players have to be added to the reserve/COVID-19 list before kickoff.

The Lions were having discussions Saturday night to determine what measures they may need to take if additional players test positive for the virus ahead of Sunday’s game against the Broncos, according to sources.

One scenario that has come up is delaying the game to Monday night, though there were no active discussions about that happening as of Saturday night, according to sources.

Williams has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Broncos and could miss next week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals as well.

The Lions already are facing other availability questions at running back. D’Andre Swift, who has been battling a shoulder injury that he suffered on Thanksgiving, is a candidate to be placed on injured reserve, according to a league source.

For now and quite possibly for the remainder of this season, the Lions are expected to lean on a combination of running backs, including Godwin Igwebuike, Jermar Jefferson and Craig Reynolds.

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