Opportunity knocked for Detroit Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs as an undrafted rookie in 2021. He answered by playing in 13 games (nine starts), and he was the team's best cornerback. A torn ACL shortened that season for him, but in the 12 games he played last season (eight starts) after his recovery he was even better.
On Thursday, Jacobs posted a cryptic message on Twitter (since deleted) thanking Detroit. Was he going to be cut? According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press later on Thursday, the team informed Jacobs he is being placed on IR.
With a maximum of four games left in the Lions' season, and that being the minimum stay on IR, Jacobs' 2023 season is over.
Jacobs led the Lions in interceptions this season for a time, and he's still tied for second with three. But outside of the two games he compiled those interceptions in, Week 4 and Week 5, he largely struggled in coverage.
After starting the first 12 games of the season, Jacobs was benched in favor of the combination of Kindle Vildor and Khalil Dorsey, playing one defensive snap over his last three games while missing one as he has landed on the injury report with leg injuries for the last chunk of weeks. This week, he went from limited on Wednesday to out of Thursday's practice with thigh and knee issues.
Jerry Jacobs' Cinderella story with the Lions is probably over
Jacobs is not under contract for 2024. With three accrued NFL seasons, he will be a restricted free agent. The Lions' desire to bring him back is a question, but it's fair to assume there will be an effort to bolster the cornerback depth chart again this offseason. Beyond Cameron Sutton and nickel corner Brian Branch, there could be an entirely new set of players on said depth chart next season.
Once the move to put Jacobs on IR is made official, the Lions will have an open spot on their 53-man roster going into the playoffs and that corresponding move will likely be announced right alongside.
Jacobs was a great story for the Lions, and a fantastic undrafted find for general manager Brad Holmes. But the story has run its course, and Jacobs seems to know that based on his "Thank you, Detroit" post that pre-empted the report he's going on IR.