The Detroit Lions knew some patience would be required when they took Chris Greenwood in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. There is a lot to love about his combination of size and speed but the jump from NCAA Division III to the NFL is steep.
The patience necessary was supposed to be in regards to his development, not his health and his ability to simply get on the practice field. After spending the 2012 season on injured reserve, this was supposed to be the year we got to see just what the Lions saw when they used that draft pick. That hasn’t happened with Greenwood once again dealing with an injury, this time to his hamstring.
The hammy has kept Greenwood out of action for most of camp but the news is better today with reports that he returned to do individual drills.
The question becomes, is it too little, too late?
The Detroit Lions made a roster move at corner today, bringing in Conroy Black. While the move didn’t directly involve Chris Greenwood, Jeff Risdon wrote on DetroitLionsDraft.com that he sees implications for Greenwood all over that move:
Black is on the Lions because Chris Greenwood can’t play. Even though the corollary roster move was waiving Brandon King, this signing is about Chris Greenwood. Because Greenwood still isn’t practicing and the Lions are short corners to take reps, Black gets an opportunity to show what he can do. Greenwood desperately needs to show what he can do on an actual football field, but injuries continue to prevent that. He is unlikely to play in the next preseason game, and there’s a fair chance he will never suit up again in a Lions uniform.
Even with his limited return to practice today, game action in just two days seems unlikely. That puts a big red circle on the calendar for August 22 when the New England Patriots come to town. If he can’t play by then, the Lions will have some thinking to do when roster cuts are made following the game. Giving up too early would be a mistake, but so would hanging on too long.