It’s time for Jeff Okudah to make a big impact for the Detroit Lions

Credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports /

Jeff Okudah’s health and overall readiness are in question heading into Detroit Lions’ training camp, but it’s time for him to step up.

Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah can’t yet be called a bust. But the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is entering a make-or-break season.

As training camp is about to begin, Okudah is working his way back from a torn Achilles. The Lions didn’t place him on the PUP list, which makes it likely he’ll at least be a limited participant on Day 1 of camp.

Lions’ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn recently went on Adam Schefter’s podcast and discussed many things. But the conversation about Okudah was particularly interesting.

Glenn said his expectations for Okudah are high, as they should be.

"We have to get this injury bug off him so he can end up playing for us so we can see exactly what we got,” “The thing is, we think we know what we got, but we have to be able to see it. But I’ll tell you, I give this player credit for busting his ass in the offseason and trying to get exactly where he needs to get so he can be in the plans for us. So I’m looking forward to him having a really good camp, just like he did last year, but I’m looking forward to him being on the field 17 games for us this year…"

Schefter had a short pause before asking Glenn if playing 17 games was realistic for Okudah. Glenn quickly responded.

"That’s exactly the expectations for that player, that’s exactly the expectations, and he knows that. We challenge him to that, and the thing about him, he is going to accept that challenge.”"

It’s time for Jeff Okudah to make an impact

Heading into his third season in the NFL, Okudah hasn’t performed to expectations since entering the league. Even when he was on the field as a rookie in 2020, he struggled. He was in line to benefit from the change in regime as much as any Lions’ player last year, but the Week 1 Achilles’ tear took that off the table.

The Lions have high hopes and expectations for Okudah this year, as they seek a suitable corner to pair with rising star Amani Oruwariye. It’s time for him to show he can be that guy, or his future in Detroit will really be up in the air.

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