Jeff Okudah

Lions CB Jeff Okudah Likely Out For Week 12

The Lions will in all likelihood be without their top cornerback when they take on the Bills on Thanksgiving. Jeff Okudah is dealing with a concussion, and will have little (if any) chance of being cleared in time for Thursday’s game.

Okudah exited Detroit’s win over the Giants on Sunday after a collision with teammate Will Harris and did not return. Given the short turnaround – not to mention the parameters of the league’s new concussion protocols – it would be nearly impossible for the Ohio State product to suit up in two days’ time.

Head coach Dan Campbell confirmed as much when speaking to the media about Okudah’s availability. “He’ll be out I’m pretty sure,” he said, via the team’s website. “We just talked about it; I don’t think there is any way possible he can play.”

Injuries are nothing new for the 23-year-old. He missed seven games during his rookie campaign, and essentially all of last season due to an Achilles tear. That led to serious questions about his ability to recover in full and live up to his draft stock as a former No. 3 pick. He impressed the team during the summer, though, and was assured of a starting spot on the boundary during the lead-in to the season.

Okudah had played nearly every snap this season before suffering the injury on Sunday, something which was a welcomed sight for the Lions given his importance to the team’s league-worst defense. He has racked up 53 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception (returned for a touchdown). Detroit will be hard-pressed to replace that production in his absence.

The team will turn to Jerry Jacobs, Mike Hughes and Amani Oruwariye at corner. The latter had a breakout campaign last season, but has taken a major step back in 2022, to the point of being benched for one game and finding himself on the trade market earlier this year. What would already have been a difficult task in slowing the Bills’ high-octane offense will thus be made even more challenging as the Lions look for a fourth straight win on Thursday.

Latest On Lions CB Jeff Okudah

A number of new faces have raised expectations for the Lions in 2022, but the return of a familiar one could give the team a significant boost in the secondary. Cornerback Jeff Okudah is in line to start the season at full health, which will allow him to occupy the position the team envisioned for him in during the 2020 draft. 

The No. 3 selection in that year’s draft, Okudah’s NFL career has been marred by injuries. He missed seven games as a rookie, then suffered a torn Achilles during Detroit’s season opener last year. That substantial amount of time spent on the sidelines has derailed his development, and led to questions about where he would line up upon his return to health.

In June, it was reported that the team was not considering a position change in the wake of potential mobility concerns. Slated to remain a boundary corner, then, the Ohio State product entered training camp and the preseason with a perceived need to reclaim his starting spot. His summer performances have allowed him to do just that.

Head coach Dan Campbell confirmed, via team reporter Tim Twentyman, that Okudah will remain a first-teamer when the regular season begins. “I thought he did some good things,” Campbell said after the team’s preseason finale. “I feel like he’s been trending in the right direction now for two weeks.”

Okudah would provide the Lions with an effective 1-2 tandem at the position should he return to form. Amani Oruwariye enjoyed a breakout season in Okudah’s absence last year, posting six interceptions and 11 pass deflections. That performance could land him an extension, though Okudah could be on his rookie deal for three more years if Detroit picks up his fifth-year option.

Much of that decision, of course, will depend on his ability to recover from a major injury and live up to his draft stock. With a starting spot in hand, he will have every opportunity to do so.

CB Rumors: Hill, Sutton, Pats, Colts, Lions

After seeing Troy Hill join the Browns in free agency last year, the Rams entered the 2022 league year eyeing Cleveland’s cornerback decisions. The Rams began discussing the idea of reacquiring Hill in early March, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes, and the team monitored the Browns’ draft to determine if it was a realistic move (subscription required). If the Browns drafted a cornerback on either Day 1 or Day 2, Rodrigue adds the Rams planned to make a move for Hill. Martin Emerson‘s third-round Cleveland arrival led to L.A. brass bringing back the veteran slot cornerback. The Rams, who had lost Darious Williams in free agency, sent a 2023 fifth-rounder to the Browns for Hill. Although Hill spent time in Youngstown, Ohio, growing up, the 30-year-old defender wants to stay with the Rams beyond his current contract — a two-year, $9MM deal that expires after the 2022 season.

Here is the latest from the cornerback scene across the league:

  • Cameron Sutton is going into the final year of his second Steelers contract and, with Joe Haden out of the picture, will go into the season as the team’s top cornerback. Sutton expects to go into the season without a new deal, but the now-Omar Khan-led Steelers have extended three contract-year players — Minkah Fitzpatrick, Chris Boswell, Diontae Johnson — in recent weeks. Sutton has confirmed he and the team have not discussed an extension, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. The sixth-year corner also is expected to spend most of his time in the slot this season, lining up on the outside in base sets and moving inside — with Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon outside — in sub-packages.
  • The Patriots have primarily used Jonathan Jones as a slot cornerback. His 2019 extension came as a result of slot play, and Pro Football Focus graded him as a top-tier cover man in 2020. But New England has been using Jones on the outside in recent days at camp, Doug Kyed of PFF notes, with third-round rookie Marcus Jones working in the slot. The Pats have been searching for an outside corner alongside Jalen Mills, and the recently unretired Malcolm Butler has yet to seize that gig. Marcus Jones is also viewed as the likely Pats punt returner, per Kyed.
  • Will Harris has worked as a safety during his first three seasons, but the fourth-year Lions defender is now battling former No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah for an outside cornerback spot, Eric Woodyard of notes. Harris started all 17 games for the Lions last season, but in addition to re-signing Tracy Walker, Detroit added ex-Baltimore safety DeShon Elliott. Okudah losing this competition would be a massive disappointment, given his draft slot, but’s Jeremy Fowler adds the Ohio State product is not being restricted by his 2021 Achilles rupture and is firmly in the Lions’ plans. Detroit’s first “unofficial” depth chart has Harris ahead of Okudah, alongside corners Amani Oruwariye and slot A.J. Parker.
  • The Colts may be ready to declare a winner in the battle to determine their third primary cornerback. Veteran addition Brandon Facyson is likely to play alongside Kenny Moore and Stephon Gilmore, Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star notes. Facyson, a Gus Bradley-system vet who has been with the new Colts DC with the Chargers and Raiders, appears to be beating out 2020 sixth-round pick Isaiah Rodgers. Largely a backup before starting nine Raiders games last year, Facyson signed a one-year, $3.84MM deal this offseason.
  • Darqueze Dennard spent 2021 with four teams — the Cardinals, Colts, Giants and 49ers — and played in just two games. But the 49ers, with K’Waun Williams now a Bronco, have Dennard in pole position to be their slot corner, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes. A former first-round pick, Dennard spent years as the Bengals’ primary slot. The 31-year-old defender is attempting to fend off rookies Samuel Womack and Qwuantrezz Knight.

Latest On Lions’ Jeff Okudah

The Lions’ defense has made a significant addition this offseason with the selection of Aidan Hutchinson in the draft. The return to full strength of another recent highly-touted pick could provide another boost to the unit. 

Cornerback Jeff Okudah is currently with the Lions during the team’s OTAs as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles. While progress is being made on that front, the team is eyeing training camp as the point at which he is able to resume a full workload, per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.

The 23-year-old suffered the injury in Week 1, ending his second NFL season essentially before it started. He was also limited to nine games as a rookie, so he has had a limited opportunity to showcase the skillset which made him the No. 3 pick in 2020. Head coach Dan Campbell expressed optimism that Okudah will be able to recover in full by July.

“We’re not worried about Jeff’s movement skills” he said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press“You watch him, with his footwork and the things that he’s doing, he can do all that… When the time’s right, to go full-speed when we get him in camp, he’ll be ready.”

With concerns lingering about the Ohio State product’s mobility after the injury, where Okudah lines up upon his return remains an important question. On that point, Rogers reports that neither a position change to nickel corner or safety “is being immediately considered” right now. That would leave Okudah on the outside, pairing him with 2021 standout performer Amani Oruwariye as the team’s top corners.

Okudah is currently limited to participating in walkthroughs with the team. While he has yet to set a firm date by which he is hoping to be back to full strength, he echoed Campbell’s optimism with respect to availability in the near future.

“Best way to describe it, I’m going to be ready when it’s time to be ready” he said. “I’m confident in that.”

Lions’ Jeff Okudah Done For Year

Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah has been diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles (Twitter link via’s Tom Pelissero). That’s a season-ender for the former No. 3 overall pick and the Lions will place him on injured reserve later today.

Okudah missed seven games as a rookie due to groin and shoulder issues. He was looking for a healthy bounce-back year, but that was all derailed during Sunday’s season opener against the 49ers. First, Okudah surrendered a 79-yard score to Deebo Samuel and got an earful for it on the sideline. Then, the youngster was forced out of action.

There weren’t many knocks on Okudah leading up to the 2020 draft with experts lauding his tools and potential. The upside is still there, of course, but he’ll have to stay healthy and play with more consistency when he comes back.

I would put Okudah down as the safest [defensive player in this draft],” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said before the 2020 Draft. “I know exactly what position he plays, I’ve seen him play that position against elite competition and I’ve seen him play at a very high, consistent level. To me, Okudah is the safest.”

For now, the Lions will have to look elsewhere for coverage help. The Okudah-less Lions have one week to go before their Monday night matchup against the rival Packers.

Torn Achilles For Lions’ Jeff Okudah?

The Lions fear that cornerback Jeff Okudah has suffered an Achilles injury (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). That’s the word from head coach Dan Campbell who added that Okudah will undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of the tear.

Groin and shoulder injuries limited Okudah’s rookie season to just nine games. This time around, it’s a new malady, suffered midway through the season opener against the 49ers. Even before the injury, it wasn’t a banner day for Okudah, who surrendered a 79-yard score to Deebo Samuel.

“I don’t want to make excuses [for Okudah],” Campbell said. “But at the same time he’s in Year Two. He made some young errors — that’s what he did.”

Okudah — the No. 3 overall pick in 2020 — was the highest cornerback selected since Shawn Springs 20+ years ago. The Lions are still waiting to see him at his best. As a rookie, he allowed a 77% completion rate on passes thrown his way for a 118 QB rating figure on such throws.

No matter the outcome of the MRI, the Lions will be without Okudah’s services for a while. They’ll try and get to the .500 mark on Monday 9/20 when they face the rival Packers.

Jeff Okudah To Undergo Surgery

Jeff Okudah‘s rookie season is over. The No. 3 overall pick will undergo groin surgery, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports, ending his initial Lions season after nine games.

This injury has bothered Okudah since his Ohio State tenure, interestingly, and has worsened this season, Birkett adds. Undergoing this procedure now would put Okudah in line to return healthy in time for Detroit’s offseason program.

Okudah has dealt with multiple injuries this season. He missed time due to a shoulder issue recently but has recovered from that malady. Overall, Okudah — the highest cornerback selected since Shawn Springs 23 years ago — did not play especially well this season. He allowed a 77% completion rate on passes thrown his way, leading a 118 QB rating figure on such throws.

The Lions were not able to use their post-Darius Slay cornerback trio — Okudah, Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman — together much this year. Trufant has only played six games; Coleman has suited up for just seven.

Lions, Jeff Okudah Agree To Deal

No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah has agreed to terms with the Lions on his rookie deal (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). Per the terms of his slot, the cornerback will earn just over $33.5MM over the course of his four-year deal with a $21.9MM signing bonus. 

The Lions’ affection for Okudah was hardly a secret in the build up to the draft. After all, the Ohio State product filled the team’s greatest need, after they shipped Darius Slay to the Eagles. There were other draft crushes on the board, like Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown and Clemson standout Isaiah Simmons, but they couldn’t let Okudah pass them by.

I would put Okudah down as the safest [defensive player in this draft],” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said before the draft. “I know exactly what position he plays, I’ve seen him play that position against elite competition and I’ve seen him play at a very high, consistent level. To me, Okudah is the safest.”

There aren’t many knocks on Okudah, and the experts say that his ceiling is sky high. In the long run, he has the tools to become one of the league’s better cornerbacks. He also figures to shore up the Lions’ D right out of the gate, with support from Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman, and Darryl Roberts.

Here’s the full rundown of the Lions’ draft, via PFR’s tracker:

1-3: Jeffrey Okudah, CB (Ohio State): Signed
2-35: D’Andre Swift, RB (Georgia): Signed
3-67: Julian Okwara, OLB (Notre Dame): Signed
3-75: Jonah Jackson, G (Ohio State): Signed
4-121: Logan Stenberg, OL (Kentucky): Signed
5-166: Quintez Cephus, WR (Wisconsin): Signed
5-172: Jason Huntley, RB (New Mexico State): Signed
6-197: John Penisini, DT (Utah): Signed
7-235: Jason Cornell, DE (Ohio State)

Falcons Prepared To Make “Huge Leap”

The Falcons are working feverishly to move up the board. They continue to be “the team to watch when it comes to moving up in the NFL Draft,” Ian Rapoport of tweets

The Falcons currently hold the No. 16 overall pick, but they’ve been pressing to vault into the Top 10. They have multiple needs on the defensive side – including the pass rush and the interior defensive line – but their top priority is likely at cornerback. With that in mind, Rapoport echoes what we’ve been hearing for a while: Thomas Dimitroff is looking for a high-end cover man with eyes on Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah and Florida’s C.J. Henderson.

Most have projected Okudah to be the first cornerback off the board on Thursday, though not everyone agrees that he is the very best CB in this year’s class. More and more executives seem to be pointing towards Henderson as the best at the position. Recently, Peter King of NBC Sports heard that 40% of NFL teams have Henderson slotted as the CB1, with Okudah somewhere below him.

If the Falcons want to guarantee that they’ll get either player, they may have to move all the way up to No. 3 via trade with the Lions. Okudah has long been connected to Detroit, while Henderson has been flirting with the Top 10 boundary. But, as always, nothing is certain – anonymous sources love to run misdirection this time of year and there’s zero guarantee that Henderson would be available for Atlanta at, say, No. 8.

For what it’s worth, Falcons coach Dan Quinn has told reporters that he sees Kendall Sheffield as a potential CB1 (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

In our league and division there are certainly some guys that you want to match up on if you need to,” Quinn said. “He’s definitely somebody with the speed and short-space quickness to do that. I definitely think he has a shot to do that, based on his speed and that I just think he’s going to continue to grow. Yeah, we’re very excited about him.

Poll: Will The Lions Draft Jeff Okudah At No. 3?

We could ask you whether the Bengals will take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick. We could also ask you whether the Redskins will select Ohio State sack machine Chase Young, who profiles as the best overall talent in the entire 2020 NFL Draft class. We could also ask you whether you think pancakes are delicious. Or whether your front lawn is green. 

[RELATED: Jeff Okudah’s NFL Draft Profile]

That doesn’t mean for sure that Burrow and Young will be the first players off the board on Thursday, but that’s the general sense in the NFL world. The real question marks start at No. 3, where the Lions may be split between their favorite draft crushes. Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown could provide them with the run-stopping solution they hoped to have in Damon Harrison. Clemson standout Isaiah Simmons could bolster them at both edge and safety, all in one shot. Still, Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah is very much in the mix, and the Lions have reportedly been zeroing in on him for weeks.

There’s a convincing case to be made for each, but the Lions have a massive hole to fill at cornerback after trading Darius Slay to the Eagles. Simmons and Brown may have attributes that they want, they don’t address the team’s biggest need. Okudah, with cheetah-like speed and the smarts to stay on the good side of zebras, seems like a sensible pick.

I would put Okudah down as the safest [defensive player in this draft],” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said recently. “I know exactly what position he plays, I’ve seen him play that position against elite competition and I’ve seen him play at a very high, consistent level. To me, Okudah is the safest.”

Now, it’s time for your take. Will the Lions take Okudah with the No. 3 pick? Or, will they go in a different direction (perhaps by trading from No. 3)?

Cast your vote below (link for app users) and break it all down in the comments.