The Detroit Lions’ pass rush has been abysmal this season, but the group is now set to get a solid boost in the form of Austin Bryant.
Detroit’s fifth round pick out of Clemson was activated from the injured reserve today, while the team placed fullback Nick Bawden on IR, the team confirmed. The move came as the clock was ticking down on Detroit making a decision with Bryant for the 2019 season given he had just been returned to the roster a few weeks back.
Bawden has sustained a season ending knee injury for the second straight year.
Austin Bryant’s Injury
Picked up in the draft, the pass rusher out of Clemson got hyped as a hidden gem thanks to his production in college, but an injury helped his slip in the draft, and once he got to Detroit, he was quickly injured again with a nearly identical ailment to the one he sustained in school.
“It’s been tough, especially the whole draft process, couldn’t do anything. When I got here, I couldn’t do anything. Then to finally get cleared and have another little mishap to prolong it even more was tough, but just had to be patient,” Bryant told the media. “Had some great teammates giving me encouragement, coaches always encouraging me, so I was able to keep a positive attitude and continue to work.”
Perhaps ironically, not being able to have everything handed to him right away has helped Bryant in terms of motivation as well as slowing the game down. He’s had time to learn in his adjustment to the league, and reflect on why football means so much to him. Unlike many rookies who admit everything happens fast, Bryant has found the exact opposite to be true.
“I’ll never forget having to be patient, you come in as a rookie and you want to play right away, and having to sit back and wait. I think it’s kind of helped me more than anything,” he said. “I got fresh legs, I was able to learn as much as I could from the older guys and the coaches and be in the meetings so that was helpful.”
In the end, this might help Bryant be a better player and have even more staying power in the league, proving everything does happen for a reason.
Austin Bryant’s Fit in Lions Defense
When asked what he wants to do now that he’s available a few weeks back, Bryant was noncommittal. He simply wants to be able to step in for the team wherever he’s asked and do what he can to help the squad.
“Wherever they need me If that’s on the edge, if that’s on the inside somewhere. Wherever they need me I am more than willing to do whatever they ask,” he said. “My main goal is I just to help the team win, that’s it.”
Detroit could very well ask Bryant to do some edge work, considering the team has not gotten after the quarterback much if at all this season. Being able to see someone else come into the mix to do this could be huge at this point for the team. Matt Patricia has already talked up Bryant before.
Safe to say he will be another chess piece for Patricia no matter where he might float around up front.
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