Lions officially lose top pass rusher Romeo Okwara for the season

Detroit Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Lions lost another game on Sunday, and Monday it was confirmed Romeo Okwara will miss the rest of the season.

The Detroit Lions dropped to 0-4 with a 24-14 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. They also lost center Frank Ragnow and defensive end Romeo Okwara to injuries during the game. Ragnow (turf toe) is unlikely to play in Week 5 and he may miss multiple games, but Okwara suffered a torn Achilles’ that will cost him the rest of the season.

Okwara had one sack and six total tackles in what amounts to three games this season, as he played just 14 snaps against the Bears. But Pro Football Focus graded him as a top-10 edge rusher in the league through Week 3.

Okwara had a breakout season in 2020, with 10 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits and 10 quarterback knockdowns. The Lions then rewarded him with a three-year, $39 million deal in the offseason. He also had 7.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits in 2018, his first season with the Lions.

The Lions’ pass rush loses teeth without Romeo Okwara

Trey Flowers (shoulder/knee) has missed the last two games. When he’ll be able to return to action is unclear, as he registered nine total tackles with half a sack and one quarterback hit in two games. On Monday, head coach Dan Campbell said there’s a chance Flowers will play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. His return would be welcome. Charles Harris has stepped up, with a current three-game sack streak going.

If there’s a positive to be taken here, it’s that Okwara should be ready to go for Week 1 next season, roughly 11 months removed from his injury. He may not do a lot in training camp or preseason games, but having him ready for the start of the season will be the priority for the Lions.

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