It was clear, even before the Lions completely overhauled their secondary, that Jeff Okudah's time in Detroit was coming to an end. So it was not a surprise when he was traded a couple weeks before the draft, to the Atlanta Falcons for a fifth-round pick. The Lions used that pick to trade up in the second round of April's draft to take Brian Branch.
Okudah has apparently been working with the Falcons' first-team defense and looking good so far at training camp, lined up for an opportunity to get his career on a good track with a needed change of scenery. But reports from Friday morning's practice may derail that progress.
An firm update on Okudah's injury will come a some point. But if it ends up being significant, it's another injury setback for the former first-round pick.
Jeff Okudah has another potential injury setback after Lions career was derailed by injuries
Being carted off always raises concern level, but it's not always the worst case. So time will tell with Okudah. But it's another potential major injury setback in a career marked by injuries during his time with the Lions.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith confirmed Okudah suffered an ankle injury, while being careful to say anything definite or especially dire until the results of an MRI come in.
The Lions took Okudah third overall in the 2020 draft. Injuries and playing for Matt Patricia derailed his rookie season. Then he suffered at torn Achilles in Week 1 of the 2021 season, which of course cost him the rest of that season.
When healthy early last season, Okudah played solidly. But his play fell off, perhaps in line with an illness, and he missed the season finale with a mysterious injury that suddenly came to light after Dan Campbell made sure to say he was not in the doghouse. That set the stage for him to be gone this offseason.
Let's hope Okudah is not going to miss much time as he looks to get his career on track in Atlanta this year.