Early on, Detroit lost a pair of key players in linebacker Romeo Okwara as well as offensive lineman Frank Ragnow. While neither injury is good for the depth of the team, it appears Okwara’s is the most serious at this point in time considering the severity of what is being dealt with.
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As NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport said after the game, the expectation is that Okwara is dealing with an Achilles injury which could figure to knock him out for the rest of the 2021 season.
For the Lions, this would be yet another Achilles injury to a key defensive player. During Week 1, cornerback Jeff Okudah was lost to a similar injury, so this would be another huge blow to Detroit’s defense. Okwara is a key pass rusher for the team and one of Detroit’s only solutions in the trenches toward rushing the passer.
Now, however, it looks as if the team is going to be forced to go without him, and Okwara will be forced to rehab a very tough injury to overcome.
Dan Campbell Updates Okwara, Frank Ragnow Injuries
After the game, Campbell was an open book about the injuries to a few of his best players in the trenches. As he told the media, the injury to Okwara isn’t good. Perhaps a silver lining comes in the form of Ragnow’s injury, which might be a little less serious overall.
“Romeo, it isn’t good. It doesn’t look good at all. Frank, I think, is better than Romeo, but he may be out a little bit too,”
Specifically, Campbell was asked if the injury Okwara is dealing with is an Achilles.
“We’ll know more in the morning, but yeah,” Campbell said.
Obviously, based on the words from the coach, it doesn’t look good for Okwara.
Okwara’s Stats & Career Highlights
If there’s been one pass rusher these past few seasons for the Lions that has stepped up as a whole, it’s Okwara, who came alive at the right time for Detroit most of the 2020 season. As a whole last season, Okwara managed to collect the most sacks of any Lions player with 10, and also collected the most tackles in one season of his career with 44.
Okwara thrives on creating pressure and panic in the pocket. With this in mind, it’s fair to say that Okwara figures to drive the bus for Detroit in terms of pass rush moving forward even as the team has given him some help. That could only boost his stock when all is said and done this offseason.
Here’s a look at some of his work in Detroit from last season:
As a whole, Okwara has 16 sacks to this point in his career coming into 2020 and lost a few seasons to nagging injuries. During the 2020 season, he looked all but sure to pass his high water mark of 7.5 sacks from a few years back and that happened easily. In that vein, nobody would be shocked if he could exceed 10 sacks this year. It’s clear Okwara’s career arrow remains fixed in the upward position, especially after he gained the extension from the Lions this year.
The hope is Okwara can battle back and get over the injury to be completely healthy in the future.