Things didn’t get off to the ideal start for the Detroit Lions in their 2021 campaign, though there were signs of encouragement near the end of yesterday’s setback against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field.
However, one piece of bad news that’s been confirmed is that cornerback Jeff Okudah‘s season is over thanks to an Achilles injury he suffered in yesterday’s 4th quarter. It’s the latest setback in the young career of the former Ohio State Buckeye, who had also battled injuries during his rookie season.
“I hate it for him and I hate it for us, because he was really coming around,” head coach Dan Campbell explained this afternoon. “That’s one of those thing we have to adapt to, it is what it is and we have to move on.”
And according to Campbell, general manager Brad Holmes is already looking to address the hole left by Okudah.
“We need to add someone just to help us on the overall roster,” Campbell said. “We’re looking into that, Brad is looking into it, and that’s coming. It’ll probably be sooner than later, but it will be someone to help us with overall depth for sure.”
“What are you going to do to prepare yourself for next year?” Campbell said of the message he’ll have for Okudah. “That’s going to be my whole conversation with him. ‘Your whole focus is going to be on 2022, and how do I get back from this?’
“We’ll have the surgery and then everything has to be about the rehab again, because there’s no other way to treat it. There’s no other way to react about it. It’s the only way he’s going to get better.”
Until that happens, Campbell explained that the team will rely upon the likes of Ifeatu Melifonwu, Jerry Jacobs, and Bobby Price, who will have to play in order to get better at their craft.
“The guys that are still here at the guys we like,” he said. “The only way they’ll get better is if they play.”
Meanwhile, Sunday was the debut of 2021 3rd overall draft selection Penei Sewell, who started at left tackle in the place of the injured Taylor Decker. While he wasn’t perfect, he impressed while playing 92 snaps. So what is the plan for Campbell and the Lions when Decker returns?
“We’re so far away from that right now,” Campbell said. “We asked him to move over there and he accepted the challenge.”
The Lions will take on the division rival Green Bay Packers, who are also 0-1, this Sunday.
– – Quotes via Detroit Lions Link – –