A little over five months after tearing his Achilles’, Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah is back running with video evidence to show it.
After being hampered by injuries and struggling when he did play as a rookie in 2020, Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah was hoping for better under a new coaching regime in 2021. Then a torn Achilles in Week 1 against the San Francisico 49ers ended his season, as it had barely started.
Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft, is moving toward being declared a bust. But simply being healthy would be helpful, as 2022 is shaping up to be a make-or-break year for him. Okudah’s injuries haven’t been your garden variety muscle tweaks and strains, so he can’t be saddled with the “injury prone” scarlet letters just yet.
We’ve gotten some bits news about Okudah’s progress in rehab and recovery, including in November with his own Instagram post and in January when Lions head coach Dan Campbell indicated he was ready to take the next step in his rehab. So far, so good, it has seemed.
Jeff Okudah is back running after Achilles’ tear (video)
On Tuesday, Okudah posted on Instagram once again. The video is captioned “2/22/22, Day 159.” He appears to be running pretty well, a little over five months removed from his injury. A little bit of a hitch in his gait (or simple hesitation to go full bore, as would be expected) can be picked up easily, but it’s remarkable that Okudah is running like that right now.
The process to recover from an Achilles’ tear is one of the longest injury recoveries there is in sports, as many a career has been at least altered by one. Running back Cam Akers made it back on the field for the Los Angeles Rams’ postseason run a little over five months after tearing his Achilles, with an experimental treatment to aid that fast recovery.
Okudah is obviously not on Akers’ recovery track, even if there were a game to play this week. But he’s well on his way to being on the field Week 1–which will roughly mark one year to the day since his injury.