The Detroit Lions are entering Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers as a badly banged-up football team for only the third week of the season.
Cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle), offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quadriceps) have been ruled out because of injuries.
Safety James Ihedigbo (neck) and fullback Montell Owens (hamstring) are listed as doubtful on the Lions’ official injury report while defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah (knee), defensive tackle Nick Fairley (biceps) and defensive end George Johnson (groin) are questionable.
All of this comes after the Lions lost offensive tackle Corey Hilliard and cornerbacks Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson to season-ending injuries in the first two games.
The loss of Vaughn is significant this week because he was expected to replace Lawson, who had replaced Bentley, as the team’s nickel back (fifth defensive back). That’s an important position against a strong passing team like the Packers and star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The nickel is now expected to be either Danny Gorrer, who was signed this week, or Don Carey, a safety who is returning to the lineup after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury.
Ansah returned to practice Friday, but only on a limited basis. Fairley and George Johnson also were limited, at best, this week.
Waddle will be missing his second straight game after starting the opener. Ihedigbo continues to practice on a limited basis, but hasn’t been cleared yet for game action after getting injured in the preseason.
Lewis and Owens make their contributions almost exclusively on special teams.
For the Packers, middle linebacker Brad Jones (quadriceps) is out, and offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) listed as questionable.