Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah takes next step in recovery at OTAs

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

With clear progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles, this week’s OTAs have represented a clear and notable step for Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah.

After a 2020 rookie season that was impacted and shortened by injuries, Jeff Okudah’s second NFL season was basically a total wash after a Week 1 Achilles’ tear. But he has posted notable steps in his recovery on social media, and the idea he could be a full-go for training camp is out there.

Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, cited Okudah getting over an obvious mental hurdle in his recovery.

"I think mentally probably is the biggest thing right now,” “I knew he would get back healthy, but mentally he’s amazing. He’s in great spirits, doing his thing, getting back, getting that Achilles and the whole body right in general. But I think we’re going to be excited just to get him back in the locker room, just his infectious attitude around the guys.”"

Jeff Okudah has been on the field at Lions’ OTAs

According to Birkett, Okudah got some first-team reps during a walk-through period at the start of Thursday’s OTA practice, then he moved to running during part of individual drills.

On Wednesday the Lions posted pictures of Okudah on the field with his helmet on. Even limited to individual drills right now, as noted by head coach Dan Campbell, being on the practice field is a notable and critical step for Okudah in his recovery. Where it goes from here will be a prominent story line for the Lions’ offseason and preseason.

The 2022 season is absolutely going to be a critical one for the third overall pick in the 2020 draft. Better health is the biggest step toward getting on track, after playing just 10 games in two seasons. Thus far, yes only in May still, it’s all positive news for Okudah as he works his way back from a major injury.

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