Lions’ Alex Myres learns lesson at arm’s length from Titans’ Derrick Henry in pro debut

Detroit News

James Hawkins
 
| The Detroit News

Lions cornerback Alex Myres made waves on social media during his NFL debut.

Unfortunately for Myres, he ended up at the wrong end of the highlight reel when he received a vicious stiff-arm from Titans running back Derrick Henry during Sunday’s 46-25 loss.

On a first-down carry during the second quarter, Henry ran around the left end and toward the sideline with Myres in pursuit. But instead of simply going out of bounds, Henry leveled Myres with his right arm and sent him crashing into the turf.

“I told him yesterday on the bench when he came off, I told him he deserved that,” Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said Monday. “I was telling him you come up with the wrong leverage on that guy and that ball shows up on the edge — I talked about it all week, showed it to him. You end up having to run sideways with this guy, you’re going to take a stiff-arm in the temple. It’s what’s going to happen.

“It’s happened to people this year, just put the tape on. Showed him the clip of Jacksonville last year, almost the same play. When you come up there like that and you don’t have proper leverage and he gets going sideways, it doesn’t work.”

Undlin noted he was half-joking and added he didn’t think there was anything he could say to make Myres feel any better after becoming Henry’s latest stiff-arm victim.

On the bright side, Myres wasn’t the first player to receive the treatment and won’t be the last. Henry sent social media into a frenzy earlier this season when he discarded Bills cornerback Josh Norman in a similar fashion.

More: Lions’ T.J. Hockenson, Frank Ragnow and Jack Fox named to Pro Bowl roster

For Henry, though, it was just another highlight-worthy play on a day where he ran all over the Lions to the tune of 147 yards and a touchdown.

“I just look how a defender is going to approach. Usually, they’ll start high, then go low real quick, so I’m not able to get my hand to be able to stiff-arm,” Henry said after the game. “And he stayed high the whole time. I think he was trying to see if I was going to put it out there and he could knock it down and get a tackle, but I just waited and timed it, and it worked.

“You know, I was looking at him. Me and him one on one, and I couldn’t really see everybody’s reaction. I was running the ball, and I’m sure once I get done with this, I’ll check my phone. My phone’s been going crazy, text messages and stuff like that. …I appreciate my teammates. Daren Bates and all those guys always are hyped up on the sideline when I get to do something like that. I couldn’t tell you. I was so focused on what I had to do.”

Due to injuries in the secondary, Myres was signed to Lions’ practice squad earlier this month. He was activated for his first NFL game over the weekend with cornerbacks Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah and Darryl Roberts all out.

Myres finished his debut with five tackles, a pass breakup and a “Welcome to the NFL” moment courtesy of Henry.

“Obviously, I care about the kid. The kid comes out and shows up every day in practice and gives us everything he’s got,” Undlin said. “But on that play, he ended up too thick, too tight to the formation and ended up bounced out and he got sideways. Kid is tough, I love the kid. I’m glad he’s here. He’s got to play better just like everybody else does.”

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins

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