3 Detroit Lions who can safely be called busts after the 2023 season

After a highly successful 2023 season for the team, these three Detroit Lions players can be safely called busts.

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1. DT Levi Onwuzurike

Despite sitting out his final season at Washington due to COVID-19, Onwuzurike snuck into the late first round of some 2021 mock drafts (for whatever it was worth). The Lions getting him in the second round, at pick No. 41, felt like a potential steal.

Onwuzurike then battled a back injury that dated back to his college career as a rookie, albeit while playing 16 games. Then he went down with a back injury early in the first practice of 2022 training camp, and missed the entire season after having surgery.

Just before this past season started, he revealed the significance of that surgery and the realization his football career could have been over.

Onwuzurike came into training camp last summer fully healthy for the first time in three tries though, and by all accounts he had no health issues all season. It's hard to remember him ever being on a daily practice report, let alone a final Friday injury report in any week. If it happened, it was rare.

But Onwuzurike played in just 10 regular season games (132 defensive snaps), as he was a healthy scratch in the other seven. He played in all three playoff games, for a total of 32 defensive snaps. His only sack all season, and arguably his only noticeable play all season, came in Week 18.

Back issues are no joke, and they often never completely go away. Onwuzurike having to have a spinal fusion surgery is definitely unique and noteworthy when thinking about his future as a football player.

In any case, Onwuzurike's career as a Detroit Lion might just be over after three seasons. He stands on a short list of potential offseason cut candidates.

Through no fault of his own, Onwuzurike is easily the top Lions' bust coming out of the 2023 season.


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