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Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview and Predictions 09-27-2020

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The Detroit Lions are winless and hampered with many key players injured, but one offensive weapon is expected to make his season debut on Sunday against the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.

Star wide receiver Kenny Golladay missed the Lions' opening two games -- losses to NFC North rivals Chicago and Green Bay -- with a hamstring injury. He practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday for the first time since Sept. 9.

Arizona, 2-0 for the first time since 2015, started the week as a 6.5-point favorite, according to BetMGM, but the line quickly moved to 5.5 after news broke of Golladay's likely return.

Golladay, 26, led the NFL with 11 touchdown catches last season and finished seventh in the league with 1,190 receiving yards.

"Obviously, it hurts when you're losing one of your best guys, so hopefully we'll be able to get him back this week," Detroit offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday. "(He) adds a different dimension. It totally changes the way that the defense looks at you."

Golladay is quarterback Matthew Stafford's top deep threat. Golladay averaged 18.3 yards per catch last season. This season, Stafford has completed just two passes of more than 20 yards after completing eight through the first two weeks last year.

Detroit's personnel issues were magnified in its season-opening loss to Chicago when cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman went down with hamstring injuries and linebacker Jamie Collins was ejected.

Coleman was put on IR and the Lions also lost starting left guard Joe Dahl last week to the injured reserve with an ailing groin.

Defensive tackle Nick Williams (shoulder) was limited and Trufant did not practice Wednesday. Williams and Trufant are listed as questionable for Sunday.

Arizona is rolling behind second-year quarterback Kyler Murray. In the win over the Washington Football Team last week, Murray passed for 286 yards, ran for 67 and accounted for three touchdowns.

"He adds a different dynamic to this offense where he can go and score from 20, 30 yards out," said Arizona wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who leads the NFL with 22 receptions (for 219 yards).

"It's something that is hard for defenders to be able to attack when you have a quarterback like that that is looking to score and not just getting first downs."

Arizona plays three straight games against teams who are a combined 0-6 -- the Lions, Carolina Panthers and New York Jets -- before hosting a Week 6 Monday Night Football game against Dallas.

Arizona second-year coach Kliff Kingsbury is not entirely pleased with his team's start. The Cardinals lead the NFL with 20 penalties.

"Our players have to understand that we have to take what we're saying on the practice field and practicing on the practice field and transition to the games," Kingsbury said of the penalties.

The Cardinals on Monday activated receiver KeeSean Johnson from the COVID-19 reserve list after a 10-day stint and placed tight end Maxx Williams on the injured reserve with an ankle injury.

Christian Kirk, a third-year receiver who has only three receptions, is listed as questionable with a groin injury. He missed practice Wednesday, as did starting center Mason Cole (hamstring). Starting DE Jordan Phillips (ankle) also missed practice. Starting cornerback Byron Murphy (shoulder) was limited.

Arizona has received approval from local and state health officials to have a small controlled group of spectators. The group will be limited to no more than 750 people, and it will be comprised of immediate family members or close friends of the players, coaches and staff.

--Field Level Media

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona, USA.
Capacity: 63,400

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Last Injuries

Arizona Cardinals

  • DeAndre Hopkins

    Ankle
    Prob Sun | probable

    Hopkins is dealing with an ankle injury, but he is likely to be available against the Seahawks on Sunday.

  • Jordan Phillips

    Foot
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Phillips is nursing a foot injury, and it is uncertain if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Seahawks.

  • Dre Kirkpatrick

    Foot
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Kirkpatrick is tending to a foot injury, and it has yet to be established if he will take the field Sunday versus the Seahawks.

  • Jalen Thompson

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | I-R

    Thompson has been designated for the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list. due to an ankle injury. It is unknown if he will be activated in time for Sunday's tilt versus the Seahawks.

  • Kelvin Beachum

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Beachum has an ankle injury, and it is unclear if he will play Sunday against the Seahawks.

  • Dennis Gardeck

    Foot
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Gardeck is battling a foot injury, and it is undetermined if he will face the Seahawks on Sunday.

  • Kylie Fitts

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Fitts sat out last game with a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will suit up Sunday versus the Seahawks.

  • J.R. Sweezy

    Elbow
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Sweezy has been moved to the injured reserve list with an elbow injury, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

Detroit Lions

  • Halapoulivaati Vaitai

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Vaitai departed the previous contest with an unspecified injury, and it is unknown if he will take part in Sunday's game against the Falcons.

  • Bo Scarbrough

    Leg
    Ques Sun | I-R

    Scarbrough has been added to the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list with a leg injury. The team has two weeks to activate him.

  • Desmond Trufant

    Hamstring
    Out Sun | out

    Trufant missed the last game due to hamstring injury, and he will not play against the Falcons on Sunday.

  • Frank Ragnow

    Groin
    Prob Sun | probable

    Ragnow is nursing a groin injury, but it is anticipated that he will line up Sunday versus the Falcons.

  • Mike Ford

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | I-R

    Ford has ended up on the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list due to an ankle injury. It is unknown if he will come back Sunday against the Falcons.

  • Tyrell Crosby

    Illness
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Crosby exited the previous game suffering from dehydration, resulting in cramping. It is unclear if he will face the Falcons on Sunday.

  • Julian Okwara

    Leg
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Okwara has wound up on the injured reserve list due to a leg injury. It is unknown when the team will activate him.

  • Trey Flowers

    Wrist
    Prob Sun | probable

    Flowers has a wrist injury, but he is likely to suit up Sunday against the Falcons.