Inside the Article:
Those of us who have called the Motor City home for several decades now are hoping that 2023 could be the year that Detroit Lions make a quantum leap forward, and former 2021 3rd round draft pick Ifeatu Melifonwu is hoping that he can be a part of it.
Ifeatu Melifonwu has struggled with injuries
Due to injury troubles, Melifonwu has only been able to play in 17 games in his first two NFL seasons, something that he's aiming to change.
“I mean, it’s a little frustrating,” Melifonwu said after Wednesday’s minicamp. “No one wants to be injured. And get the position change. But ultimately, I got to look at it — bigger picture. It’s what’s best for the team. And obviously, the injuries could be worse. It could be, god forbid, a season-ending injury or something like that. They’ve all been injuries that I’ve been able to bounce back and still play that season. It could be a lot worse, so I thank god for that.”
It was a thigh injury that kept him out in 2021 and then separate hamstring and ankle injuries that hampered him last season. But he's hoping that the third season will be the charm.
“I’m way more comfortable than last year. Last year, everything was new. It was just — I had never played safety before, so it was just a big transition,” he said. “The rotations and fitting in the gaps. I feel like, now, I’m thinking less because I have it down. I’m more comfortable this year.
“I knew it was going to come eventually. Like, in my career. I didn’t know it was going to be Year 2. But I knew it was going to come eventually. It was something that I had to think about. And, ultimately, just trust the coaches that are putting me in the best position to be successful.”
Wrapping It Up: The Lions are hoping Melifonwu can stay active
The good news for Melifonwu is that he's still young, and there's plenty of time to make the most of his NFL career, something that he and the Lions are hoping to see come to fruition.
We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that he's able to stay healthy and active for the Lions in 2023 and have his best NFL season yet.