'It's the only way:' Campbell wants Okudah to pour himself into 2022


Dan Campbell knows how Jeff Okudah's feeling. The Lions head coach dealt with some brutal injuries in the latter stages of his career, missing all but three games in his final three seasons. Okudah will miss the rest of 2021 after rupturing his Achilles in Detroit's season-opening loss to the 49ers.

"I hate that for him," Campbell said Monday. "He put in a lot of hard work and really improved a ton from spring until now. I hate it for him first, and I hate it for us as a team because he was really coming around."

The third overall pick in 2020, Okudah seemed poised for a breakout in 2021. He was healthy after battling multiple injuries as a rookie, his mind was in a better place, and he made a strong impression in training camp under new DC Aaron Glenn and new DB's coach Aubrey Pleasant. Now he'll have to wait for 2022 -- and who knows how he'll look on the other side of one of the most devastating injuries in football.

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