Dan Campbell: Jeff Okudah’s preseason debut was encouraging

Sport

Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah got his first taste of game action in nearly a year when against the Falcons last Friday.

Okudah tore his Achilles in the first week of the 2021 season, which dashed any hopes that he’d rebound from a rocky rookie season. The third overall pick of the 2020 draft played 18 snaps and recorded three tackles while also giving up a completion on third down while in pass coverage.

Head coach Dan Campbell said Monday that the team came out of the game thinking Okudah is on the right path.

“Listen, he did some good things,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It was encouraging. We came out of this game encouraged with Jeff. . . . “It was like, ‘OK, this is pretty good,’ just to see him get up there and press a little bit, challenge, and then, man, he’s getting involved in some of these tackles. And so I would say we were encouraged. That’s the best way to say it, it was encouraging.”

Okudah has been splitting first-team work with Will Harris during camp and more encouraging work in the weeks to come should give him a good shot at a starting job and a chance for some redemption this fall.