Jeff Okudah describes feeling of playing in first game in nearly a year

By W.G. Brady  - Senior News Desk Writer
3 Min Read
Jeff Okudah

On Friday night, Jeff Okudah, who was originally selected by the Detroit Lions with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, played in his first game in nearly a year.

When the Lions selected Okudah, the expectation was that he would quickly establish himself as a lockdown defensive back in the NFL.

As we know, that has not happened as Okudah has had to deal with injuries, including tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 1 of the 2021 season.

But now Okudah is fully recovered from his Achilles injury and he is ready to go out and prove he was deserving of being the No. 3 overall pick.

According to Lions head coach Dan Campbell, ‘nobody wants it more’ than Jeff Okudah.

“Nobody wants it more than he does,” Campbell said at the beginning of training camp. “I mean he’s put in the work, he looks healthy, and I think at this point all you can do now is go to work and show what you’ve got and see if you can continue to progress. Because look, ultimately, that’s the thing here is he just hadn’t got a ton of football in him because of the injury.”

Jeff Okudah describes feeling of playing in first game in nearly a year

Following Friday’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, Jeff Okudah spoke to the media about what it was like to take the field in a game for the first time in 334 days.

“It was surreal to be honest with you, but just a blessing to get back out there with the guys,” Okudah said. “Special moment, same field I got hurt last year and being able to play. It’s been a long journey, so to be able to take that step in the right direction is big today.”

Okudah, who played for most of the first half against the Falcons (32% of the defensive snaps), had his ups and downs and he is ready to look at the film and “build on it.”

“I think it was solid, all things considered it was solid,” he said. “I mean for me being a perfectionist, I hate that a receiver caught a ball on me, but it’s definitely something I can look at and build on it.”

2022 may be a make-or-break season for Jeff Okudah but it sure seems like he is heading in the right direction with the Detroit Lions.

Nation, what are your expectations for Okudah during the 2022 season?

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