Jeff Okudah Provides Definitive Answer on Potential Position Switch Rumor

Jeff Okudah

Getty Jeff Okudah before a Lions game against Washington.

Sometimes, rumors have a way of taking on a life of their own in the NFL, and such is the case when it comes to matters of players and personnel.

The Detroit Lions have seen an example of this up close and personal with Jeff Okudah. Okudah, a cornerback, has only played that position in the NFL. Due to his struggles at times on the field and issues with health, many on the outside have wondered if Okudah might transition to safety, even though that has not officially been revealed as a possibility. Still, the curiosity spilled over to a recent press conference.

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On Thursday, June 2, Okudah was asked about the chances he would switch to safety. As he explained to the media, that isn’t something that is on his radar at this point in time give it hasn’t been discussed by either he or the team, and it’s not a place he has played in the past.

“Jeff Okudah was asked about potentially moving to safety. He said no one has had that conversation with him, he’s never played the position at any level and has never even considered it,” Rogers tweeted.

The Lions have plenty of players who can wear many hats on the back end. Safety Will Harris can play either position, and takes pride in his versatility for the defense. So too does cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, who has taken actual reps at safety recently in practices.

Add it up and it seems that the urban legend about Okudah switching possessions will remain just that: a fan myth.


Okudah Consulted With Other Top ACL Injury Athletes

More than where he plays in 2022, the notable fact is that Okudah will be playing in the first place. The Lions saw him get injured early in the 2021 season with a tough ACL injury, and he has battled through ailments in the last two seasons entirely. So far, it looks as if Okudah is making a complete recovery from his ACL injury, which his head coach Dan Campbell has alluded to in his own press conferences.

Perhaps the reason why Okudah was able to make such a fast comeback? He’s been talking with other athletes who have gone through the same thing, and their advice has been sound. As Chris Burke of The Athletic tweeted, Okudah revealed that their advice has been to take care of the mind as much or more than the body.

“Jeff Okudah says he’s talked to other athletes who’ve gone through an Achilles tear, like John Wall and Boogie Cousins. Their advice to him: “The Achilles will be the least of your worries” and most of the challenges will be mental,” Burke tweeted.

Indeed, a big challenge for Okudah will be getting his mind back to game speed and trusting his body again. It might be hard to do, but this is sage advice from a couple of NBA stars who put their bodies on the line night in and night out. Okudah will have to get to the point where he has complete trust again, which may take time in camp and the preseason to continue to knock the rust off.


Okudah’s Rookie Stats & Highlights

A reason for the rumors was folks desperate to find an answer for Okudah’s play early in his career. The 2020 rookie season wasn’t phenomenal statistically for Okudah, who only put up 47 tackles, 2 passes defended and 1 interception before losing 2021 entirely. The cornerback fought injury most of his rookie season and was never completely right, and also may have never felt comfortable with the coaching he was being given by Matt Patricia and company. As a result, Okudah struggled as a rookie and was often picked on by the opposition leading to some rough days on the field as a youngster. The stats didn’t show a player primed to make a huge impact, but it’s more than possible that Okudah could turn this around quickly this season and have a much better showing if healthy. If he could be around 80 tackles and have closer to 3 interceptions in 2022, that would be seen as a huge stride forward.

Here’s a look at some of his work when he last played:


Jeff Okudah 2020 NFL Highlights | Rookie Season HighlightsMy discord : discord.gg/Wxm9Wjzx2020-11-01T16:55:02Z

Okudah has some talent to rely on so the hope is that he can bounce back from another injury and get ready for 2022. It looks as if that will be the case, and feels as if Okudah is destined to remain at cornerback after this answer on the topic.

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