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Jeffrey Okudah now has added injury to insult.
The Detroit Lions' much-maligned cornerback, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, had about as tough a Week 1 game as you can imagine.
First, he was chewed out on national TV after a blown assignment. That was hard enough to watch.
Then Monday came confirmation of what the Lions suspected after their opening-game loss to the San Francisco 49ers: that Okudah had in fact suffered a torn Achilles in the fourth quarter of the game. The news was reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Okudah endured a tough rookie baptism in 2020, ranking 115th among 121 qualifying cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. He started six of the nine games he played last season, making four tackles for loss and two pass breakups but no interceptions and being picked on in coverage quite often when Okudah was on the field.
The hope entering the 2021 season was that a new coaching staff and fewer defensive demands from Matt Patricia's defense would allow Okudah's outstanding natural talent to flourish. Although we had yet to see the fruits of Okudah's labor pay off on the field, new head coach Dan Campbell and his staff had said in the preseason that Okudah was emerging as a young leader in a revamped secondary.
Now following a tough opener, he's looking at a length rehab for an injury that some athletes never completely come back from.
When Lions coach Anthony Pleasant appeared to be shouting "Do your job" repeatedly toward Okudah on Sunday, it was a humbling moment (even if Pleasant could be seen embracing Okudah after the tirade).
But what came afterward was even tougher for the second-year player whose career arc looks completely different than it did even one year ago.
The good news? It appears Okudah is trying to take the best possible attitude toward his comeback.