The Detroit Lions have signed a cornerback ahead of Week 2, but it might not have been the caliber of name that many expected.
Wednesday, the Lions added Chris Jones to their roster from the Arizona Cardinals. Jones got his start in Detroit in 2018, departed for Arizona and had been playing a decent role with the Cardinals and their defense since that point. He now returns to the team.
Detroit’s in a desperate place in their backfield with injuries to Jeff Okudah, Desmond Trufant and the loss of Justin Coleman yesterday. Jones at the very least adds some depth to the team and will be familiar with their defense.
Chris Jones Stats
Jones was a 2018 undrafted free agent out of Nebraska. He started his career in camp with the Lions, but was cut and quickly latched on with the Cardinals. In 2019, Jones made his debut with the Cardinals and so far in his NFL career has put up 22 tackles and 6 passes defended.
While with Nebraska, Jones was an All-Big Ten honorable mention at cornerback. He gives the Lions some scheme familiarity to help given their cornerback situation.
Desmond Trufant’s Injury Status
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Desmond Trufant was able to avoid a serious injury to his hamstring and could play this week against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2.
That’s great news for Detroit, who lost Justin Coleman to the IR and still does not know what they will be getting from Jeff Okudah, who missed Week 1 with his own hamstring injury.
Obviously, these are desperate times in the Detroit backfield. The Lions could turn to a veteran cornerback in the days ahead in order to fill the gap left by Coleman coming up. Still, if Trufant could remain healthy and play in the near future, it could be a big win for the team’s beat up defense.
Desmond Trufant’s Absence Hurt Detroit
Not only were the Lions down rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah to a hamstring injury, they had lost Justin Coleman in the first half. Then, during the late stages of the game, they lost veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant to the same ailment as Okudah. It was only after Trufant exited that Mitch Trubisky turned up the heat against a Lions secondary full of mostly backups, and another unfortunate turn which set about a historic collapse.
Without Trufant, Trubisky was able to confidently fire 3 touchdown passes as well as pile up the yards against the Lions. Before he exited, Trubisky looked more like the average quarterback who barely held onto his job this offseason.
Certainly, this stat isn’t to excuse the Detroit offense and their lack of closing, but it could explain why the Lions’ defense looked so scattered late. Amani Oruwariye was the team’s only home grown talent on the field in the moment, and they were relying on veterans Tony McRae and Darryl Roberts likely more than they ever expected to be in Week 1.
Good depth is important, but it’s likely not even the Lions could have planned for the mass exodus they experienced Week 1 in their secondary. The health of all these players will be something to watch this week in what could be another stiff challenge for Detroit’s defense.
Jones at least will add some depth for the team.