But the good luck didn’t last through to Week 2, as defensive end Josh Paschal suffered an injury in the team’s September 14 practice that could leave him out for several weeks. As Jeff Risdon of USA Today’s Lions Wire reported, Paschal was hurt during the Thursday practice and will now be forced to miss Sunday’s home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell would not put a definitive timeline on Paschal’s return, but hinted that he could be out even longer than one game.
Campbell told reporters on Friday that Paschal’s injury will not threaten his season, but insinuated that he could miss some time going forward.
“I don’t think serious, but I think there is a chance—we’ll know more today—but there is a chance he could be out for a little bit,” Campbell said. “But I don’t feel like this is something to be a season-ending type of deal.”
As Risdon noted, Paschal is no stranger to setbacks from injury and illness. The former Kentucky standout missed time in college after undergoing surgery to treat cancer on his foot, and suffered a core muscle injury and knee injury that cut time out of his rookie season with the Lions in 2022.
The Lions are dealing with some other injuries heading into Week 2, with tackle Taylor Decker being listed as doubtful after playing through an ankle injury against the Chiefs.
Defensive Setback for Lions
Paschal’s injury could be a major setback for the Lions’ defense, as the second-year defensive end appeared headed toward a larger role in the coming weeks. He had an efficient performance against the Chiefs in Week 1, making three tackles — including one tackle for a loss — in just 17 defensive snaps.
As SI.com’s Christian Booher noted, Paschal earned some praise from Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn after the game.
“That’s one guy that I was talking about since OTAs that I was excited about seeing because of the fact that he’s had an offseason to train,” Glenn said. “He had training camp to go through, he had OTAs to go through. So it didn’t surprise me at all that he was effective in that manner and I expect him to continue to grow in that position that we have him in. I think he had maybe 30 plays, he’s continued to grow, so you’ll see him out there more.”
Risdon reported that the Lions were expected to keep veteran Romeo Okwara active against the Seahawks to help fill in for Paschal. Okwara was a healthy scratch in Week 1, as was fellow defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs who could see playing time against Seattle.
Others will likely pitch in to take Paschal’s snaps, Risdon added.
“Detroit could also use more of Levi Onwuzurike, as well as a higher snap count for John Cominsky on Sunday against Seattle,” he wrote.