Lions plan to keep Jeff Okudah at cornerback amid possible changes to secondary

Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

The buzz regarding Jeff Okudah’s health heading toward next season is good, and the Lions’ plan is to keep him at cornerback.

Jeff Okudah’s first two NFL seasosn have been marred by injury, including a torn Achilles in Week 1 last season. His progress in recovery has been good by all indications, including a very recent video posted showing an important step in his rehab (changes of direction, etc.).

Speaking at the NFL Combine on Tuesday, via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, and adding outside linebacker Romeo Okwara to the optimism list coming off a torn Achilles of his own, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Okudah is on track to be ready to go for training camp.

"Both of those guys, we feel like right now are right where they need to be, is probably the best way to describe that,” Campbell said. “And as long as everything stays the course with their recovery then we should have them hopefully by training camp, at least on a limited basis, which would be good.”"

The Lions plan to keep Jeff Okudah at cornerback

The Lions have a lot of question marks in their secondary. Safeties Tracy Walker and Dean Marlowe are free agents. Cornerback Jerry Jacobs suffered  torn ACL in Week 14 last season, so he’s unlikely to be ready to go for training camp and into the season. Okudah is obviously a question mark himself, due to health and the struggles he has had when he has been on the field. But Campbell has dismissed the idea of a position switch.

Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:

"Right now we see him as corner, but there again, a lot of this will be as we continue to discuss and depending on who we add or how we add, you never know,” Campbell said. “We’re constantly talking about our personnel and what’s best for them moving forward. What’s best for us?Should this guy go to safety? Should this guy go to nickel? Should we bump this guy back out to corner? How are our injured guys? What do we add? So we just constantly are going to have dialogue about that, but yeah, we see Jeff out there and what we need to do is just continue to add pieces that can compete."

Campbell left the door open for Okudah to move positions based on who the Lions add to their secondary, and the idea he could be used at corner and safety depending on personnel packages isn’t ridiculous. The first thing for the No. 3 overall pick in 2020 is getting healthy, then his role can be discussed with more certainty.

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