Brian Branch’s Injury: The Latest on the Detroit Lions’ Star Rookie’s Condition

Brian Branch
Brian Branch

“Bryan Branch has played only four games in his rookie season, but he’s already one of the best players on the Detroit Lions defensive line. In his very first game, Branch helped disrupt the Chicago Bears’ offense, allowing Patrick Mahomes to come up with a crucial touchdown pass. Against the Atlanta Falcons, he led a dominant defensive effort with 11 solo tackles, three tackles for loss, and two pass breakups.

Branch Transported from Field

Branch’s status

However, during the Thursday night victory against the Green Bay Packers, there was a scare (or two) as Branch went down with a knee injury. What do we know about the Branch’s status?

Branch Carted Off the Field Early in the second half, the social media world held its breath as Branch went down and didn’t get back up. Eventually, he rose to his feet and walked back to the sideline with trainers. Moments later, the broadcast showed Branch being carted off to the locker room. The Lions announced that they were questionable for a return with a right knee injury.”

“Branch’s Return”

After a drive of one or two plays, Branch was back on the field. He had returned to the sideline and was taping his knee, seemingly hoping to get back in the game. He came back and was moving just fine on the next few drives.

The Fear of Another Injury

Towards the end of the game, with what seemed like an insurmountable 17-point deficit and the Lions struggling, Branch attempted to put some effort on his troubled knees and fell on the turf. He got up slowly, but this time, he headed towards the sideline. He didn’t return to the game.

With only a few minutes left, and the Lions mainly using up the clock, there were no concerns that Branch was out for the second time.

Post-Game Report

Post-Game Report
Post-Game Report

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Branch was limping in the locker room after the game. Garafolo mentioned that Branch had told him the X-rays were negative and nothing was broken. This is good news for the Lions, especially with only 10 days remaining until their next game against the Carolina Panthers. If Branch needs some extra time to fully recover, he can sit out without worrying about the Tampa Bay game on October 15th.

We’ll check whether Branch is recorded on the injury report one week from now. Since he returned to the game, it doesn’t seem like it will be a long-term issue. But with the way injuries are plaguing the Lions, it’s better to wait and see. Branch and his agent had already successfully negotiated a deal with the Lions before reporting to the training camp for disgruntled players. For the Lions, this is now a minor concern.

Details of Branch’s contract are as follows: The Lions signed him to a four-year deal worth $8.021 million. He also has a signing bonus of $2.833 million. Branch is poised to become a significant part of the Lions’ secondary in 2023 and beyond. It’s good that both parties were successful in getting this done, so there won’t be any holdout drama.

 Injury Concerns for Defensive Linemen

Okay, I won’t dwell on this as I’ve seen plenty of Lions fans do with defensive linemen. I’m not coming from the perspective of someone sitting next to a fake football field. The biggest difference is that I won’t be complaining. I’ll be asking questions and then comparing answers. My apologies to some of the Lions fans. If you’re looking for something where I say that Brad Holmes has a plan and the Lions can rebuild (fill in the blank with whatever player the frustrated fanbase wants this week), it’s not happening.

Here’s the thing. I don’t think it’s just best after four games. I don’t believe it’s totally unacceptable move. I’m curious about what the timeline is, even if it seems like the Gabz timeline. He only played 28 snaps on Thursday night. He was fine on those 28 snaps. He ran 40 yards on eight carries. That’s 5 yards per carry. He caught four passes for 11 yards. If he’s performing this well, why not give him more playing time?

I think there’s a shot that I answered my question in April before the Lions drafted. I wrote for Pride of Detroit that Lions fans should lower their expectations for whoever they drafted.

Expectations for the Team Selection

 The idea was that the fans needed to lower their expectations for the team they were selecting, whoever it was. They should have given fans a better chance to pay more attention to the team overall before they started focusing on the first-round pick.Okay, now that we’re not in that situation, when will the Lions start pushing Gabz, especially when we don’t have a backfield? Hey, it’s a long season. The Lions just played their fourth game. They’ve won three of them. The team is working right now. The wins are all that matter.

In my opinion, this is a time when you’ll really see Gabz become more of a focus, especially with D’Andre Swift not running the ball well. He could be a change of pace to see if it sparks something. Maybe the scientific difference applies to the way the team is run. The league will adopt the way the Lions operated, where they didn’t rush Gabz back and it worked. They’ll believe that the showing will continue and then the Lions can send Gabz’s Gypsys there to create a lot of tension.

The time will come when you’ll see that Gabz is doing all the things you expected from him, but the Lions don’t need to do it right now as the Atlanta Falcons do with Beegin Robbinson. In my opinion, it’s safe to say that you can expect the Lions to push Gabz when someone is truly undeniable, and you can give it to him from there. Brian Branch is definitely that guy. Welcome to the new Lions fans. Your team is good.”

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