Jerry Jacobs has not been handed anything since surprisingly making the Detroit Lions' roster as an undrafted rookie in 2021. But, due to Emmanuel Moseley's elongated recovery from a torn ACL, he won the starting cornerback job opposite Cameron Sutton going into the season by default.
Entering Week 4, Jacobs was ranked 91st out of 105 qualifying cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. With Moseley's Lions' debut looming, now looking likely for Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Jacobs needed, for lack of a better term, an assertive perfomance against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
Head coach Dan Campbell said Moseley, when he's ready, will be worked in slowly with obvious consideration for how he feels. Having Jacobs makes it that Moseley does not have to be rushed into action at all.
"Certainly (Moseley’s) got to prove he’s worth those reps,” Campbell said. “But I think everybody feels pretty good as he goes out there, he’s going to get his legs back under him quick. But we’ll see where that goes. The good news if it’s not quite there yet, we still have Jerry. And we battle it out. We’re fortunate to have both those guys.”
Jerry Jacobs had the kind of game he needed vs. Packers
Jacobs, of course, is not going to lay down and let Moseley just take his starting job--hence why the competition in camp would have been great if it had happened.
Against Green Bay on Thursday night, Jacobs had two interceptions. The first set up the Lions' second touchdown of the game, and the second shut down the Packers' final comeback chance.
After the game, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Campbell lauded Jacobs' performance.
"Outstanding, man," Campbell said. "Jerry got us the takeaways today, and look, that’s two weeks in a row he’s playing pretty good. He had a little bit of a rough one, (Week 2 against) Seattle, but every player does. But he’s bounced back, and that’s what we all expected from Jerry. He’s a competitor and it means something to him. He works at it. He works extremely hard and he is competitive. I thought it was great for him to be able to get two of those."
When he's ready to play, Moseley will eat into Jacobs' snaps to some degree just to get him acclimated. And Jacobs will surely embrace whatever role he has. But with merit ultimately determining who plays, Jacobs is on track to make it hard for Moseley to usurp him.