LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Kalif Raymond is taking advantage of an opportunity he didn’t have with four other NFL teams after first earning a roster spot in Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Raymond has 14 of his 33 career catches and two of his three career touchdowns in four games with the Lions. Last year with Tennessee, Raymond had a career-high 118 yards on three receptions in a Week 3 game at Minnesota.
VIKINGS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Dalvin Cook, who played on a sprained ankle last week that kept him out of the previous game, had a career-high 206 yards rushing against Detroit last year. Cook had 34 yards on nine carries last week against Cleveland.
KEY MATCHUP: D’Andre Swift had 167 yards from scrimmage with a rushing TD as a rookie for the Lions last year against Minnesota. He’s second among NFL RBs with 23 receptions, the type of versatile runner/receiver who has given the Vikings’ defense trouble over time. Backup Jamaal Williams is also averaging a career-high 4.5 yards per carry. The Vikings have allowed 100-plus rushing yards in 11 straight games.
KEY INJURIES: LB Romeo Okwara (Achilles) and C Frank Ragnow (toe) went on injured reserve this week, joining CBs Jeff Okudah and Ifeatu Melifonwu, LT Taylor Decker and WR Tyrell Williams. … Lions LT Penei Sewell, their first-round draft pick, has an ankle injury and is uncertain to play. LB Trey Flowers could return after a two-game absence due to shoulder trouble. … Vikings LB Anthony Barr, dealing with a knee injury, is on track for his season debut. The status of DT Michael Pierce (elbow) is uncertain. He didn’t practice Wednesday.
SERIES NOTES: The Vikings have won seven straight games over the Lions after going 2-5 against the franchise’s most-defeated opponent to start coach Mike Zimmer’s tenure. … The Lions have lost 21 of their last 27 games at Minnesota. … First-year Lions coach Dan Campbell played for Dallas from 2003-05 while Zimmer was the defensive coordinator there.
STATS AND STUFF: The Lions have dropped eight straight games since winning in Week 13 last year. … The Lions were in the red zone on offense four times last week and did not score on any of those drives inside the 20. … Campbell has gone on fourth down an NFL-high 10 times and was 0 of 2 last week at Chicago. … Lions newcomer Jared Goff is averaging just 6.8 yards per attempt, ranking 22nd in the league among QBs with a qualifying amount of attempts. … LB Charles Harris has a sack in three straight games and forced a fumble last week for the Lions. … Detroit CB Amani Oruwariye has an interception in each of the last two games after totaling three over his first two seasons. … The Vikings’ offense has not scored a TD in the second half in three straight games. … Kirk Cousins, who became the first QB in Vikings history to go five straight games without an interception, was picked off last week to end his team-record streak at 224 consecutive attempts. … Vikings DE Danielle Hunter has 11 sacks in nine career games against Detroit. With one more sack, the 26-year-old Hunter will move into ninth place on the team’s all-time list. … The Vikings’ defense has allowed 23 second-half points this season, the second fewest in the league. … Only Randy Moss (2,726) had more receiving yards for the Vikings before turning 23 than WR Justin Jefferson (1,738), who has 13 more games to play at age 22.
FANTASY TIP: Detroit’s T.J. Hockenson leads all TEs in the NFC players with 22 receptions and has been targeted a team-leading 30 times. He caught a TD pass at Minnesota last season.