Waddle, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, returned to practice Friday for the first time since suffering the brain injury.
"I'm feeling good," Waddle said. "Came out here, did some stuff today. Go back, do some more tests and stuff like that and see how it feels later on in the day and we'll see where we go from here."
Waddle said he did everything in practice Friday but was not sure whether he would play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in Wembley Stadium.
Waddle's concussion became a point of contention with the Lions on Thursday, when there was some confusion as to how his concussion protocol was handled. Waddle suffered the concussion on the point-after-touchdown following the Lions' go-ahead score, but then played in the game's final play, a kneel-down.
He also said he did not inform doctors of his condition.
"I was a little woozy but I didn't really know what was happening," Waddle said. "I didn't realize I had a concussion. I thought I got shook up a little bit but I thought I was good, you know."
Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Thursday the Lions knew when it occurred and "what happened within the context of it." He then said the team knew Waddle hit his head on the ground but that doctors did not think he had a concussion and defended Detroit's medical staff.
"Obviously he went back on the field the final snap," Caldwell said. "We knew it was only one snap. The doctors reviewed him, took a look at him. It wasn't one of those situations where we felt he had to go into the locker room right away.
Neither Brandon Pettigrew (foot), Joseph Fauria (ankle) or Eric Ebron (hamstring) practiced Friday for the Lions, meaning none of the tight ends that were on the team’s initial 53-man roster in August took a practice snap this week in England.
And not one sounds like a lock to play on Sunday, either. If anything, there’s a better chance none play.
“It just depends on what happens here in the next day or so,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Friday before practice. “Brandon is still a big question mark to be honest with you. We’ll see where that goes here in the next 24 hours, 24-48 hours can make a tremendous difference, so we’ll see what happens.
“… [Ebron and Fauria] are a very slim chance to be honest with you. It’s very slim for those two guys.”
This would leave the Lions with practice squad call-up Jordan Thompson and recently-signed free agent Kellen Davis as Detroit’s two tight ends against Atlanta. There would be a small chance the team could promote receiver Ifeayni Momah, who has been working with tight ends this week, in an emergency.
The Lions were also without running back Reggie Bush (ankle) for the second straight day of practice.
Detroit had some better news in other injury departments.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who has not played since aggravating his high-ankle sprain against Buffalo in Week 5, practiced for the third straight day Friday.
“He did work yesterday,” Caldwell said. “I thought he did a pretty good job, but we’ll see where he is (Friday).”
Also, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle was back on the field and with a helmet, likely meaning he has at least passed part of the NFL’s concussion protocol. It is unclear if the Lions expect him to play Sunday.
“You know it’ll be doctor’s protocol that’ll make that determination as well as with the rest of the guys that are on that injury report,” Caldwell said. “If not, obviously we have had a couple guys that have had some playing experience there, fortunately. It’s not a brand new experience for us to work with those particular individuals in both (Garrett) Reynolds and (Cornelius) Lucas who play that spot.”
Caldwell did not say whether it would be Lucas or Reynolds, the former Falcons offensive lineman, who would start in that situation.
Walters will need to go through the NFL concussion protocol and tests before being cleared to play, which puts in jeopardy his chances of playing Sunday.
Walters just took over the kickoff return duties last weekend after Percy Harvin was traded to the New York Jets, but Walters has been returning punts since Week 2 after free safety Earl Thomas was taken off those duties.
If Walters can’t play, the options on punt returns likely would be cornerback Richard Sherman, receivers Doug Baldwin or Paul Richardson, or maybe Thomas. Kick returns duties probably would go to Baldwin, with Richardson also an option.
Defensive end Michael Bennett also was a new addition to the injury report, not practicing Thursday because of a toe issue. Bennett talked to reporters Thursday and appeared OK. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams did not practice, but it was not injury related.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor (ankle) returned to full participation after missing practice Wednesday. So did running back Robert Turbin, who likely will be the starting fullback Sunday, after being limited on Wednesday with a shoulder issue. Running back Marshawn Lynch also returned to practice after his usual day off Wednesday.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf) and center Max Unger (foot) still were out, which could indicate neither man will play Sunday at the Carolina Panthers.
Heading the list was safety T.J. McDonald, who missed Wednesday with a concussion. McDonald went through the concussion protocol and was cleared to return Thursday. He practiced on a limited basis after he said he felt a little "foggy" on Sunday night.
The Rams also got guard Rodger Saffold (knee), receiver Kenny Britt (ankle) and defensive end William Hayes (illness) back. All three practiced fully.
On the other side, running back Benny Cunningham was added to the report as a limited participant with a knee injury. Cornerback Brandon McGee was downgraded to limited participation after practicing full on Wednesday.
Here's the complete rundown from Thursday's injury report:
Did not practice: CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), C Tim Barnes (shoulder)
Limited practice: S T.J. McDonald (concussion), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), CB Brandon McGee (foot), RB Benny Cunningham (knee)
Full practice: WR Kenny Britt (ankle), DE William Hayes (illness), G Rodger Saffold (knee), DE Ethan Westbrooks (hand)
Unlike Starks and Jones, who returned to practice, Burnett was unable to go for the second straight day because of a calf injury, leaving his status in doubt for Sunday's game at the New Orleans Saints.
"My concern for Morgan is higher than it was yesterday," McCarthy said after Thursday's practice. "Hopefully with today and what goes on tomorrow, we'll see if he can do anything Saturday."
Both Jones (ankle) and Starks (knee) were limited participants in practice.
"I had a better look at James than Datone," McCarthy said. "I thought James, he looked pretty good."
If Burnett can't play, the Packers could be without two of their four starters in the secondary because cornerback Sam Shields (knee) also did not practice. He missed Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
The Packers likely would start rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and second-year pro Micah Hyde at the two safety spots. The two had been splitting time but Clinton-Dix, the Packers' first-round pick, took over as the starter last week against the Panthers.
"I think they'll be fine," safeties coach Darren Perry said of Clinton-Dix and Hyde. "I mean it's still early [in the week]. Morgan's a veteran guy and if he misses a practice or two, he'll still be fine. Every situation's a little bit different but we're preparing that if we don't [have Burnett], we've got two guys and Sean Richardson. He's ready to go. He's champing at the bit."
After a disappointing 2013 season, Burnett leads the Packers with 59 tackles (including 49 solo stops) according to the coaches' count based on film review. He also has a forced fumble.
"He's a lot more confident with the scheme, [and] the communication's been excellent," McCarthy said. "I think he's having a better year this year than he did last year."
Here's the full injury report:
- S Morgan Burnett (calf, did not practice)
- DE Datone Jones (ankle, limited participation)
- CB Sam Shields (knee, did not practice)
- RB James Starks (ankle, limited participation)
Rubin said he will test his ankle in pregame, before putting on pads, to make sure his explosion off the line of scrimmage will be there. He thought he'd play last week but couldn't get ready in time. He's been limited in practice all week. The Browns are already missing defensive lineman Phil Taylor to a knee injury.
"I consider myself pretty good at the run-stopping," Rubin said. "When I'm out there, that's a big piece of the puzzle that's missing."
The Browns have given up a league-worst 155.5 rushing yards per game but held the last two opponents to a combined 10 points for much of the game (the Steelers and Jaguars both scored in garbage time). Rubin credited Ishmaa'ily Kitchen for filling in admirably.
"When I go back in there, I know I'm going to go in and be dominate like I was when I left, make plays, run around and have fun," Rubin said.
In other injury news, defensive lineman Billy Winn is still limited in practice with a quad injury but nickel corner K'Waun Williams, who missed last week with a concussion, was a full participant.
Running back Trent Richardson also didn’t practice for the second straight day because of a hamstring issue. He said Wednesday that he plans to play against the Steelers.
Linebacker Erik Walden (rest) didn’t practice. Tight end Jack Doyle (knee) and offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (rest) returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday.
With the defense already down middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (pectoral/IR) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin), coach Gus Bradley said Thursday that it's "highly unlikely" that cornerback Alan Ball will be able to play because of a biceps injury.
Ball hasn't practiced this week after suffering the injury in the Jaguars' 24-6 victory over Cleveland last Sunday.
In addition, cornerback Dwayne Gratz was added to the injury report with tightness in his hip flexor. He would start in place of Ball if he's healthy, but if he can't play the Jaguars would be forced to start Jeremy Harris. He was one of the Jaguars' two seventh-round draft picks in 2013. The other is Demetrius McCray, who has started at left cornerback the past three weeks.
Harris missed his rookie season with a back injury and has been inactive for three games this season.
Here is the Jaguars' Thursday injury report:
Did not practice: Branch (groin), Ball (biceps), defensive end Chris Clemons (not injury related), linebacker Geno Hayes (not injury related), defensive tackle Roy Miller (not injury related).
Limited: Gratz (hip flexor).
Full: Center Luke Bowanko (ankle), running back Toby Gerhart (foot), safety Craig Loston (hamstring).
The official injury report listed Fuller as having limited participation.
“Our decision with Kyle is day-to-day in terms of how he’s working. He practiced today to the full extent of practice. We’ll see how that is tomorrow and we’ll continue to evaluate it daily. We certainly want him to feel comfortable playing and not to have the concerns that he can hurt himself more with what he has. We certainly wouldn’t put him out there if we thought that was the case.”
Linebackers Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jon Bostic (back), tight end Martellus Bennett (hamstring) and right tackle Jordan Mills (foot) were also limited.
Three players were held out of practice: defensive end Jared Allen (rest), safety Danny McCray (knee) and KR/WR Chris Williams (illness).
Safety Chris Conte (shoulder) practiced without restrictions for the second consecutive day and is expected to be available Sunday when the Bears travel to New England. Conte was inactive in Week 7 after failing to finish four of the Bears' first six regular-season games.
Jones will reportedly miss one month with a hip injury.
Offensive lineman Dan Connolly (concussion), rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley (shoulder/knee), core special-teamers Nate Ebner (finger) and Matthew Slater (shoulder), rookie offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (finger) and rookie center Bryan Stork (concussion) continue to be limited participants in practice.
Quarterback Tom Brady (ankle), cornerback Brandon Browner (ankle), safety Devin McCourty (rib), linebackers Jamie Collins (thigh) and Dont'a Hightower (knee) returned to full participation on Wednesday and were all full participants in practice again on Thursday.
The full participation of all of these players, especially Collins and Hightower, who will continue to be relied on heavily with linebacker Jerod Mayo done for the year, are encouraging signs.
Monroe and Osemele have started side by side since Week 3, and the Ravens have gone with rookies James Hurst and John Urschel in their absence.
"It's very important to get them back," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "They've had a good week. But we'll continue to get James and John ready to play. I think offensively right now, you guys can see it's almost like everybody gets a chance to contribute. So, I think we stay the course right there and hopefully Eugene and K.O. are ready for a full day's work."
Ravens injury report
Did not participate: DE Chris Canty (wrist), TE Owen Daniels (knee), LB Daryl Smith (not injury related), WR Steve Smith (not injury related).
Full participation: OT Eugene Monroe (knee), G Kelechi Osemele (knee).
But offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak sounded like he had no doubts that the Ravens' second-leading receiver will be lining up Sunday at the Cincinnati Bengals.
That's bad news for the Bengals, based on Daniels' track record against them. Since 2011 (including playoffs), Daniels has the fifth-most receiving yards (254) of any player in the NFL against the Bengals. He has averaged 5 1/2 catches in four meetings, as Bengals linebackers have had trouble covering him in the middle of the field.
Daniels has certainly come through for the Ravens in his first season, filling the void left after Dennis Pitta sustained a season-ending hip injury. Among NFL tight ends, he ranks in the top 10 in receptions (27, tied for eighth), touchdowns (three, tied for ninth) and targets (36, tied for ninth). He has as many touchdowns as New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.
“He’s a big target, but the big thing is he’s very defined in where he’s going and what he’s doing," quarterback Joe Flacco said of Daniels. "You can see just by how he runs routes and pushes on people and gains the leverage and all that. He does a good job, and that’s why he gets open. Obviously, he’s caught the ball when he has gotten open. He’s been big for us, and he’s going to have to be big for us down the line.”
Thomas (shoulder) is a long shot since he hasn’t attended either practice after being knocked out of last week’s game against the Detroit Lions. Robinson (forearm) has been on the practice field in uniform but has not participated in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.
Obviously it’s a good thing for the Saints that they got Mark Ingram back from his own hand injury last week. Ingram would play a significant role in the Saints’ offense if the other backs are out or limited. Travaris Cadet would also likely play an increased role, especially in the Saints’ passing game, if Thomas is out.
Last week, Cadet caught six passes for 51 yards with Thomas limited. Cadet also caught six passes for 59 yards earlier this year at Dallas when the Saints spent much of the game in their no-huddle, hurry-up offense.
The Saints didn’t offer updates on any of their injuries Thursday. There were no changes from Wednesday’s injury report.
Center Jonathan Goodwin (knee) and linebacker Kyle Knox (ankle) remained out.
Tight end Jimmy Graham (shoulder), cornerback Keenan Lewis (knee/shoulder), nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (concussion) and linebacker Ramon Humber (ankle) remained limited. Cornerback Patrick Robinson (hamstring) practiced fully.
Shazier hasn’t played since hurting his knee in the Steelers’ 37-19 win against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 21.
The Steelers could have a tough decision to make Sunday when they host the Indianapolis Colts. They will likely err on the side of caution with Shazier and the Steelers may want their first-round pick to go through more than a couple of full practices before putting him back on the field.
“If not this week he certainly isn’t far away,” defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said of Shazier’s status.
Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (concussion) and nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) each missed practice for the second consecutive day. McLendon isn’t expected to play against the Colts and it’s not looking good for Gilbert, especially if he is unable to practice on Friday.
Safety Shamarko Thomas will probably miss a third consecutive game because of a hamstring injury as the second-year man again was limited in drills.
Cornerback Ike Taylor, who is a month removed from breaking his forearm, practiced on a limited basis on Thursday for the second consecutive day.
“You can just tell he’s feeling pretty good and he’ll be back as soon as he can, quicker than most people,” LeBeau said. “He’s a tough guy.”
Taylor said he hasn’t been cleared to start lifting weights yet, and he is slowly rebuilding his strength in his forearm. The 12th-year veteran said he started doing cardiovascular work last week and that practicing again albeit in a limited capacity is another step in the right direction.
Taylor, who has stayed close to the team since getting hurt, said he does not have a timetable as far as when he might be able to return to game action.
“I’m at every meeting, every practice, every game. As far as mental-wise I ain’t missed a beat,” Taylor said. “I’m enjoying every moment. It just sucks to be off the field.”
Guard Vlad Ducasse also returned to practice in full after injuring his knee last Sunday in Buffalo. Zimmer, however, would not say for certain whether the Vikings would use the same five offensive linemen against the Buccaneers.
"Everything's a little in flux with the injuries, so we'll see," Zimmer said.
Linebacker Gerald Hodges (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis, and defensive end Corey Wootton was a full participant after the lower-back injury that kept him out of Sunday's game also limited him Wednesday. Safety Antone Exum missed practice with an ankle injury, however, and cornerback Josh Robinson left practice early after injuring his ankle in individual drills. Zimmer said he wasn't sure how the injury would affect Robinson's status for Sunday.
"He wasn't going very fast when he did it," Zimmer said.