In their remodeling of their secondary this offseason, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley looked like a free agent bargain for the Detroit Lions. If he hadn't suffered a torn ACL playing for the San Francisco 49ers last season, he would have secured more than a one-year deal.
Moseley seemed to have a chance to be ready for Week 1. Then there was a report from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, later confirmed, that he'd had a "cleanup" procedure on his injured knee.
In a surprising development, Moseley was taken off the PUP list and put on the 53-man roster to start the season. That pointed to him being ready before four games were completed, as that is the minimum stay on the PUP list. Then he added a hamstring injury to the mix, to further push back when his Lions' debut would come.
A short week before Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers, and no real practices during the week, guaranteed Moseley would miss a fourth straight game. Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers was then easily lined up to be his Lions' debut.
Emmanuel Moseley will indeed make Lions' debut in Week 5
Head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media on Monday, and Moseley's prospective availability against the Panthers was an easy topic.
"It makes us better," Campbell said of Moseley's potential return to the lineup. "We believe it will make us better. He's another guy we'd like to see if we can get him going this week.
"There again, if he does, he's a guy that we don't feel it would be smart to play him 60 plays, but he's certainly somebody that we like, 'Alright, let's get a look at this week.' Feel like the time is right and he'll get a little bit."
Campbell confirmed Jerry Jacobs, coming off two interceptions against the Packers, will continue to see the majority of the snaps at the outside cornerback spot opposite Cameron Sutton. But Moseley adds some utility as an perimeter corner, as Pro Football Focus ranked him 17th among qualifying cornerbacks at the time of his ACL tear last season. Opposing quarterbacks had just a 66.9 passer rating when throwing his direction before the injury.
Moseley is not in line to see a ton of action on Sunday, assuming he does make his Lions' debut (it would be a huge surprise if he didn't). But his addition to the lineup can only help a defense that has already been quite good this season.