Charles Harris Could Play Vital Role in Replacing Romeo Okwara

Charles Harris

Getty Charles Harris on the field during a Lions preseason game in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have seen plenty of bad news early in the 2021 season, but they received quite possibly the worst with the revelation that Romeo Okwara would be lost with injury.

Okwara is now slated to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury, something which was first revealed to be possible on Sunday night but confirmed on Monday afternoon. In the aftermath of such news, concerns for the team have shifted to how a player like Okwara will be replaced.

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Unfortunately for the Lions, there are no easy answers seeing as Okwara was one of the most important Detroit defenders, and a player who always seems to help teammates reach their potential, especially up front. The is good news, however, is the Lions could have a player starting to step up in the form of Charles Harris.

Thus far this season, Harris doesn’t have a robust stat line with just 9 total tackles and 3 sacks, but he has collected a sack in each of his last three games, including a massive play in Chicago which forced a fumble and cost the Bears a drive in the fourth quarter. This shows he is starting to come on at just the right time for the Lions.

This year, Harris has gotten off to a solid start within Detroit’s scheme. As former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum recently pointed out, between Harris and Okwara, the Lions have two of the NFL’s more prolific pass rushers in terms of win-rate this season.

This past offseason, Harris was signed as a very unheralded free agent, and has started to earn his role for the Lions. The fact that the team will be down a major pass rushing weapon will only help to give Harris a chance to showcase more of his obvious talents and continue to come into his own on the field.

Often times, all players need is a chance to shine. This is a big opportunity for Harris, and don’t be surprised if he continues to play a big role for the team in picking up some of the pass rushing slack that Okwara’s absence will naturally leave behind.

Dan Campbell ‘Feels Good’ About Lions’ Depth up Front

Losing a player like Okwara can be tough on a defense, and Campbell admitted that much is true. As he told the media, he was frustrated by the injury thanks to how important Okwara is to the team and how hard he works. Still, it’s clear that when Campbell spoke on Monday, October 4, the coach was feeling more than a little optimistic as it relates to life without Okwara considering the depth the team has up front.

Detroit Lions Media Availability: Oct. 4, 2021 | Dan CampbellWatch Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell speak to the media Oct. 4, 2021. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

“I like our depth, I feel pretty good about it. I think there’s a chance we get Trey (Flowers) back this week so that helps,” he explained. “We can always shift. We can always go a little bigger, a little heavier, a little more four-down front type things. We’ve got flexibility. We can move in any direction we need to move in per our personnel and our depth. We’re going to make this work.”

Though Okwara and Harris have different responsibilities with the former playing more of a linebacker role with edge setting, it’s obvious Campbell seems to realize that the Lions will have other talented players capable of stepping up and playing different roles for the defense. In this vein, it isn’t wise to forget what Harris brings to the table.

Harris’s Career Stats and Highlights

it’s clear that Harris has talent to fall back on that could help him cement a bigger role in Detroit. He was a former first-round pick out of Missouri back in 2017, and while he might not have lived up to the grade with the Dolphins, it’s clear he does offer some upside in the trenches. Harris has 6.5 career sacks, but 3 of those came when he was playing with the Falcons during the 2020 season. Harris also has 79 tackles, 4 passes defended and 1 fumble recovery in his career before joining the Lions.

Harris has yet to show signs of being a consistently elite pass rusher in the NFL, but he could offer the Lions some help off the edge given the major need Detroit has at the spot. The Lions re-made their defense this past offseason, and in previous years the team did not show an ability to get after the quarterback. That has disappeared thus far in 2021, given the team already has 9 sacks to their credit through the first four games. Having Harris come on at this point would be considered a win given he is leading the team currently with his 3 sacks.

Watching some of the career highlights, Harris is still a very talented player:

Charles Harris || "Black Ice" || Missouri HighlightsWelcome to Harris Highlights! The #1 Highlight Channel on YouTube (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) check out my podcast: Snapchat: @BlakeHHarris Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: More Highlights: ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Welcome to Harris Highlights, the #1 subscribed and most viewed College Football highlight channel on YouTube! Here, you will find more videos than…2016-12-30T00:11:50Z

Now, the pressure will be on Harris to step up minus, but if recent history is any guide, he has shown himself as perfectly capable of doing just that.

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