Lions' Walker done for the season (torn Achilles), Swift may miss time (shoulder sprain)

D'Andre Swift disappeared into a training room at U.S. Bank Stadium after the Detroit Lions' 28-24 loss Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings. When he re-emerged, he kept his left arm tucked under a sweatshirt as he talked briefly with reporters before heading to the bus.

Swift played 32 snaps against the Vikings and rushed for a season-low 31 yards on seven carries as he was in and out of the lineup because of ankle and shoulder injuries.

The third-year running back, at his coach's behest, has played through a sprained ankle he suffered in the first half of the Lions' season opener but now he could miss time with what NFL Network reported Monday is a sprained shoulder.

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Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) walks on the field before a game against the Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Minneapolis.
Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) walks on the field before a game against the Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Minneapolis.

Last year, Swift missed four games with right shoulder sprain.

This offseason, Lions running backs coach Duce Staley challenged Swift to be better about playing through injuries.

"He responded (to my challenge), and like I said before, he understands," Staley said last week. "He understands that, like I said, his 80%, man, is a lot better than other people’s 80%. And once he gets that understanding in his head he can move forward with some of these little minor injuries."

Swift, who leads the Lions with 231 yards rushing this season, said he was feeling "fine" Sunday, though he briefly left the game after re-injuring his ankle in the second half.

Asked what he needed to get better, Swift said "time" was the only antidote - something the 1-2 Lions don't have the luxury of with games against the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots on the schedule before their Week 6 bye.

"But I keep getting better," Swift said. "It’s better than last week, so just keep pushing forward, keep getting treatment on it and I’ll be all right."

The Lions got bad injury news Monday when tests confirmed safety Tracy Walker tore his Achilles tendon against the Vikings.

Walker suffered the noncontact injury with just over 6 minutes to play in the first quarter, when he planted to run forward while preparing to make a tackle on a short run by Dalvin Cook.

The Lions' leading tackler entering the season, Walker grabbed at his lower left leg as he sat on the field being tended to by trainers, while Campbell looked on. He limped slowly to the sideline under his own power and was quickly carted to the locker room after a brief examination in the bench area.

"I appreciate all the support from my fans and friends," Walker wrote in a Twitter post Monday morning. "It is true that I tore my Achilles and I’m done for the season but I’ll bounce back and be better then ever for the following years to come. TTIME will be back."

Walker is the third Lions defensive player to tear his Achilles in the past 13 months.

Last season, cornerback Jeff Okudah ruptured his Achilles tendon in the season opener and defensive end Romeo Okwara tore his Achilles in a game against the Chicago Bears a month later. Okudah has started every game and been the Lions' best cornerback this season, while Okwara has not yet returned from his injury.

Juju Hughes played extensively in Walker's absence Sunday, when the Lions struggled with communication issues in their secondary, including on the Vikings' game-winning touchdown pass.

The Lions (1-2) are thin at safety, though second-year defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu could push for time. Melifonwu, who moved from cornerback to safety this offseason, has not played this season after missing time in training camp with a strained hamstring.

At running back, Jamaal Williams and Craig Reynolds are in line for more work if Swift misses time. Williams ran for a team-high 87 yards on carries against the Vikings on Sunday and leads the Lions with four touchdowns this season.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Lions' Tracy Walker tears Achilles, D'Andre Swift sprains shoulder