Sunday: Noon at Ford Field (Ch. 9 and KFAN-FM 100.3)
ABOUT THE LIONS
• Last week the Lions (5-10) dropped a third straight game, a 47-7 loss to Tampa Bay, during which Detroit was without five coaches, including interim head coach Darrell Bevell, because of COVID protocols. The Lions also lost quarterback Matthew Stafford to an ankle injury in the first quarter.
• Stafford, at the end of his 12th NFL season, has yet to miss a start this year and insisted this week he wants to play against the Vikings despite a growing list of injuries. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel completed 13 of 18 passes for 86 yards and took three sacks against the Buccaneers.
• The Lions' last-place scoring defense (32.1 points per game) has four starters – cornerbacks Jeff Okudah and Desmond Trufant, and defensive linemen Trey Flowers and Danny Shelton – on injured reserve. Five straight opponents have topped 30 points against Detroit.
• The injury-plagued Lions could also be without their leading tackler, linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., who remains sidelined with a neck injury. Receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) and guard Joe Dahl (back) also have not practiced this week. Former Vikings safety Jayron Kearse, who started seven games for Detroit this year, was released this week after violating team rules on a road trip.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT | RB D'Andre Swift
• Swift, a second-round pick (35th overall) out of Georgia, leads Lions skill players with 808 yards from scrimmage, but his role has been inconsistent after starting the year behind Adrian Peterson and then missing three games due to injuries.
• Swift, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, has slowly transformed a backfield committee into more of a one-man show, getting at least two-thirds of Detroit's snaps and carries in the past two games. Peterson and Kerryon Johnson have been relegated to bit roles.
• Bevell on the running back committee: "We'll continue to handle them the way that we have: D'Andre is going to be the starting running back, and then we'll go from there with how we want to divvy up the rest of the carries. Kerryon will obviously end up being the third-down back, that type of situation."
• Vikings co-defensive coordinator Adam Zimmer on Swift: "[Swift] has a real acceleration to the perimeter when he gets the ball in his hands, and he's started to run the ball downhill inside more, so he's a challenge. He's a good runner. We're going to have to do a good job on him in the years to come."
COACH SPEAK | Darrell Bevell
• The Lions are 1-3 under Bevell, the former Vikings offensive coordinator who took over after head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn were fired on Nov. 28.
• Bevell, 50, is in an NFL head coaching position for the first time in his career after overseeing offenses in Minnesota (2006-2010), Seattle and Detroit for more than a decade. He's the second interim coach the Vikings will face this season after Atlanta's Raheem Morris.
• Bevell on his approach to playing time in the season finale: "We're going in to win the game, that's always going to be our approach. Obviously, the roster is very limited in terms of how many backups and guys you have, but I think you'll still see the familiar names you know and maybe mix in a guy here or there."
• Bevell on his first head coaching gig coming this way: "It hasn't deterred me. This has been a great experience. I've learned a lot. There's been a lot that's been thrown at me in a short amount of time. I love this game. I love being around these players and I love really everything that goes on with it, so to have an opportunity to run your own team is a blessing."