1. DT Levi Onwuzurike
Simply out, Onwuzurike, a second-round pick by the Lions in 2021, is moving quickly toward bust territory. He was hampered by a back injury during his rookie season, Then he suffered a back injury early in last year's training camp, and eventually had season-ending surgery.
This offseason's updates on Onwuzurike haven't been all that promising, basically because there hasn't been much said by head coach Dan Campbell. This week at OTAs, where the young defensive tackle is running but not fully practicing, here's what Campbell said.
"I would say he’s probably right on schedule for what we thought,” Campbell said at his Thursday morning press conference. “He just got on the grass really about a week ago to where he can begin to run.”"
So then really it’s, okay, how fast can—now that he’s moving, he’s out there on the grass, he’s able to run, he’s off the Altered G (anti-gravity treadmill)—how fast can his body come back? We don't entirely have that answer,” “Certainly, we’re hoping that we get him in camp at some point, but I can’t give you a timeline of that right now.”"
So the Lions are hoping to have Onwuzurike at some point in training camp, with the first day as seemingly a question mark. There is time for that hope to transition into something more firm, but back injuries are tricky and Onwuzurike's has not been put to any sort of rest.
It may take an injury settlement, if he can't get healthy enough to fully take the practice field. But Onwuzurike has to be somewhere on the roster bubble, healthy or not, and the Lions could very well elect to stop wondering if he'll ever be healthy enough to contribute.