Your gridiron heroes, the Detroit Lions, lead the NFC North with a 4-1 record.  And they are two games in front of the Green Bay Packers (who the Lions beat in Week 4 on the road) as we hit the quarter pole of the NFL's regular season.

Things are looking pretty rosy on the outside looking in.  They are running the ball well with David Montgomery.  QB Jared Goff is playing very well.  And the defense is making plays.  They forced three turnovers in Sunday's victory over the winless Carolina Panthers.  The Lions are a very good team.

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But folks, there is a growing problem on the team.  It's been a problem all season.  But it's getting worse.  And that's the injuries that have sidelined major players on this team.

The Lions (as of this writing on Tuesday, October 10th) have eight players on injured reserve, and will have another one added this week as defensive back Emmanuel Mosely tore the ACL in his knee in the win over Carolina.  Reserve running back Zonovan Knight got hurt in the second half and left the game, he may be put on IR.  Guys like James Houston, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Jason Cabinda are all on IR and expected to miss significant time.

Offensive linemen Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Frank Ragnow are all hurt, but they are playing.  Defensive back Kerby Joseph just got back from injury and rookie safety Brian Branch (pictured above) missed the Carolina game due to the ankle injury suffered in the Green Bay game.

Also, the Lions were without star receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs due to injuries.  It is unclear as to if they'll play this Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Head coach Dan Campbell said on Monday that defensive back/kick returner Khalil Dorsey and defensive lineman Josh Paschal could return as soon as this week.  Good, they need them.

The Lions are fortunate that the backups (for the most part) have played well in the place of the injured players.  In the secondary, backup CB/S Jerry Jacobs has four interceptions this season.  Other backups like Will Harris, Ifeatu Melifonwu, and Tracy Walker have all played well on the back end.

On offense, backup WR Marvin Jones had his best game of the year against the Panthers.  Third-string RB Craig Reynolds scored a touchdown vs. Carolina.  And backup O-Linemen Colby Sorsdal, Graham Glasgow, and Kayode Awosika have all held their own when playing in place of the starters.

Yes, the Lions are 4-1.  They look really good right now.  But if they lose somebody else like Jared Goff, Aidan Hutchinson, or Amon-Ra St. Brown to a major injury.  Then the Lions have an even bigger problem.

Keep believing folks.  The Lions are off to a great start.  But if the team starts losing, all you have to do is look at the injury report as to the main reason why.

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