The Detroit Lions have added a couple more key names to the COVID/Reserve list on Thursday afternoon, and one represents a key position on the defense.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, cornerback Justin Coleman was added to the list on Thursday afternoon. He’s the third key Lions starter that has been sent to the list in the last few days.
Additionally, the team placed tight end Isaac Nauta on the list as well, bringing their total of player to 7.
Previously on Wednesday, the Lions had added 5 players to the list, so early on, they’ve seen plenty of action in terms of the coronavirus. Now, the step is for the team to sit back and wait for everyone to be cleared.
Justin Coleman Stats
Coleman has already made a huge impression for his ability to blanket receivers and make elite plays when the ball is thrown his way. In Detroit last season, Colman started hot with 11 tackles and 1 forced fumble. That led those who are watching closely, including ESPN’s Field Yates, to proclaim him one of the best signings of the free agency period early on.
After watching Coleman match up with Kansas City Chiefs, Yates seemed very excited about what Coleman has been providing the Lions early in his tenure with the team.
It’s been a long time since the Lions could count on anything consistent from their defensive backfield, but with Coleman in the mix, they are finally seeing some quality depth shine through.
After the Lions shelled out the 4 year, $36 million deal to Coleman in free agency last March nearly immediately, the prevailing thought was concern about whether a player who only had a mere 119 tackles, 2 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries in his career would be worth the major money. The key, though, was always the fact that Coleman was coming into a defense in which he has a strong background with Matt Patricia. His awareness around the ball is also key.
In New England, Coleman fit Patricia’s plan perfectly, and it was the Patriots who ended up using Coleman the best. When he went to the Seattle Seahawks, Coleman enjoyed a bit more production and more money, but it was easy to see he loved his role in a comfortable defensive scheme when he jumped at the chance to re-unite with Patricia in Detroit.
Even though the Lions paid Coleman in a big way, it’s obvious that he is proving his worth to the team, and might even be playing well enough to be considered a steal in spite of his massive contract.
Lions Placed T.J. Hockenson, Kenny Golladay on COVID/Reserve List
Wednesday, Detroit placed 5 players on the COVID/reserve list. The biggest names were wideout Kenny Golladay, tight end T.J. Hockenson, cornerback Amani Oruwariye and punter Arryn Siposs. The final player was safety Jalen Elliott.
The news doesn’t mean that all the players were positive, of course. They may have been in contact with another person who was infected. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Siposs was positive but asymptomatic which means he could theoretically be back sooner.
Detroit will have to monitor these players as well as the rest of their roster to see what happens in the coming days. For now, this is the first round of tests and results.
John Atkins Opts Out of 2020 Season
Wednesday afternoon, defensive lineman John Atkins was revealed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter to be opting out on the season. Atkins is the first member of the team to opt out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The players will have until August 4 to decide whether they’re in or out for the 2020 season. Obviously, it’s a personal decision for each player that decides to walk away for the time being and one that should be respected considering nobody knows family history or health history of the players.