The Detroit Lions have seen a rash of injury concerns pile up early in the season, and ahead of Week 2, the team has been spared at all from damage on a daily basis.
On Thursday, September 15, a brand new injury case arose during practice that warrants attention for the team. Cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who led the Lions in interceptions in 2021, left practice favoring his back.
DetroitLions.com reporter Tim Twentyman was at practice, and provided an update for the team about who was and wasn’t around. It’s clear that the team is still facing lots of potential troubles for Week 2.
“No Frank Ragnow (groin/foot), D’Andre Swift (ankle), Jonah Jackson (finger) at open portion of Lions practice Thursday. Amani Oruwariye walked in with trainers after grabbing at his back. Taylor Decker (calf) & Michael Brockers (knee) we’re back at practice,” Twentyman tweeted.
It was good to hear about the return of Decker and Brockers, but the extended absence of Jackson and Ragnow and the possible exit of Oruwariye represents far worse news for the team.
Oruwariye was listed as a limited participant in the Week 2 injury report, and was a new addition for the team.
The Lions will hope that Oruwariye simply went through a scare and doesn’t end up on the injury report long-term after this.
Lions Injury Situation Would Be Worse With Oruwariye
So far, most of Detroit’s troubles have been on the offensive side of the ball, but losing Oruwariye would represent a major blow for the defense.
The team is already a bit thin at cornerback with Jerry Jacobs still fighting back from an ACL injury he sustained last year. Jeff Okudah played well at the spot in Week 1, but any injury to Oruwariye would take away a key defender that is capable of grabbing turnovers for the team.
Without Oruwaryie, the team may have to depend more on the likes of Will Harris, a converted safety. Harris is a depth piece the team has. They might also have to give veteran Mike Hughes a bigger role.
Oruwariye is a long way from being in trouble, but hearing about a potential back injury is bad news for the Lions. The hope is that it wouldn’t linger or progressively get worse. The team has had bad luck with back injuries, with Levi Onwuzurike, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tommy Kraemer all struggling with them so far.
Oruwariye’s Career Stats & Highlights
If the Lions lost Oruwariye, it would be subtracting arguably their biggest piece on defense in the backfield given what he has done early in his career.
During the 2019 season as he started into the league, Oruwariye didn’t do much statistically for the team early on as he battled a knee injury. After that point, though, he surged.
Oruwariye finished 2019 with 2 interceptions and 19 tackles for the Lions, but has been a player who has delivered before given his work in college. During the 2020 season on the field, he had 53 tackles, 1 interception and 7 passes defended, meaning he was easily able to eclipse his statistical work from last season, setting him on a good trajectory.
While playing for Penn State, Oruwariye put up 108 tackles and 8 interceptions while scoring 1 touchdown. Last year, he showed up big for the Lions with tons of big plays. In total, Oruwariye had 57 tackles, 11 passes defended and 6 interceptions. Here’s a look at his highlights:
So far in Detroit, he’s shown an ability to step up and stick in coverage and might be the best cornerback on the team at this point in time.
Watching and seeing what happens with regards to Oruwariye will be a fascinating case the rest of the week, and the Lions will be hoping for much better news on this case in the days ahead.
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