Dan Campbell confident Jeff Okudah will be ready for Lions training camp
All signs have been positive to this point, but Lions head coach Dan Campbell has confirmed confidence Jeff Okudah will be ready to go for training camp.
From his social media posts showcasing his work to return from an Achilles’ tear in Week 1 last season to optimism within the Lions, it has felt fairly certain Jeff Okudah would be fully cleared for the start of training camp in late-July.
During his media session on Thursday from Lions’ OTAs, head coach Dan Campbell talked about Okudah with confidence the third-year cornerback will be ready for training camp.
"I’m very encouraged,” Campbell said. “We know the surgery went well and just the rehab process, I feel really good about this, just where he’s come and where the injury is at. I feel like he’s right where he needs to be.”We’re not worried about Jeff’s movement skills,” “He’s gonna be able to move. You watch him with his footwork and the things he’s doing, he can do all that. That is real important right now, just continue his growth mentally. Him to be able to get the walkthrough reps and then just the film study, it’s big for him. So it’s good to have him here. Then when the time’s right, to go full speed when we get to camp, he’ll be ready.”"
Jeff Okudah needs to get and stay healthy for critical season in career
There’s no doubt Okudah will have a mental hurdle to clear coming back from such a major injury. His participation, even lightly, in last week’s OTAs, was a positive step all the way around.
After an injury-riddled rookie season in 2020 where he struggled even when he was on the field, Okudah got a breath of fresh air with a new coaching regime last year. But in Week 1 against the 49ers, his 2021 campaign came to a fast end when he tore his Achilles.
After the coming season, the Lions will have a decision to make on Okudah’s fifth-year option for 2024. If he gets/stays healthy and performs something like the third overall pick in the 2020 draft, the decision will be pretty easy to pick that option up. If he struggles to stay on the field and/or struggles on the field again, then it becomes patently unlikely he gets a guaranteed fifth season in Detroit.