May 25, 2024

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Injury report: Jahmir Gibbs is among 3 Lions draft players who have been sidelined at mini-camp

Injury report: Jahmir Gibbs is among 3 Lions draft players who have been sidelined at mini-camp

On Saturday, the Detroit Lions opened up a rookie junior to the media for the first time this season, but they were missing some of their biggest pieces in the puzzle. Jahymr Gibbs, second-round pick Brian Branch, and third-round pick Hendon Hooker were all not involved in coaching the second-round rookie team.

Gibbs, the 12th overall pick in 2023 NFL DraftHe wasn’t training due to an ankle injury he sustained on the first day of camp on Friday. Assistant General Manager Ray Agnew said the team was being careful. Gibbs himself downplayed the injury as well.

“I’m straight, I’m good,” Gibbs said after training.

Gibbs’ characters will be a key part of the Lions’ offensive, stepping into a role previously held by D’Andre Swift. At Alabama, Gibbs was a staple in both the rushing and passing game. In Detroit, he’s expected to play a similar role.

“Maybe it’s the same in ‘Bama, like wide and running back,'” Gibbs said on Saturday.

Branch did not specify exactly what he was dealing with but said there was no long-term concern. He did admit, though, that it was frustrating to miss training so early in the process.

“I hurt because I practiced yesterday and today, like every practice I want to get better,” said Branch. “And just knowing that I wasn’t able to practice today. I wasn’t able to improve or play with my teammates.”

The Lions will not push Branch, as there is no clear role the defense should take immediately. As General Manager Brad Holmes said during draft week, Alabama defensive backs may have to work on special teams to get into the field his rookie year, due to Detroit’s investment in their defensive backs this season.

“We’ve done a lot of moves in the secondary in the background during free agency, and where we’re as a roster, you can get to a point where you’re going to take a guy in the second round that might not be immediate,” Holmes said. “But I will say this, it might be, and if it doesn’t make an impact.” Immediate on defense, he’ll have an immediate impact on special teams.”

Hooker was not expected to be a participant during junior camp due to a torn ACL he suffered in November. Recently, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said they expect him to have a “redshirt” rookie year.

However, Hooker was still active on the field, obviously going through mental reps, and even slow coming up while undrafted rookie Adrian Martinez was running through actual plays.

“You see me, I’m getting around with the ball,” Hooker said. “I’m addicted to getting back on the court and competing, and also being around the guys as well. You can see me getting warm and stuff, just having fun and enjoying my teammates.”

While Hooker wasn’t throwing the ball during practice, he did catch some throws after practice. The key is to keep pressure off that leg.

“Airways, it’s kind of tough, because I want to do things that I can’t do right now,” Hooker explained. “In terms of just accelerating my foot, putting a lot of pressure on that left leg, and trying to change directions which I can’t do right now.”

In addition to these players, rookie undrafted linebacker Stephen Gilmour has not trained with the team but has gotten plenty of work on the sidelines with the coaches. Third round pick Broderick Martin appeared to have an arm injury in practice, but put on a brace/sleeve and finished the day on the field.

“I just got locked up. People came down, beat her up,” Martin said. “They just wanted to make sure I was okay. The best ability is availability, so I need to be there.”

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