Detroit Lions pull Austin Bryant off PUP list; Derrick Barnes dealing with hamstring pull

Detroit Free Press

Dan Campbell had 13 surgeries during his playing career, so the first-year Detroit Lions coach can relate to what pass rusher Austin Bryant is going through as he tries to return from another injury.

“I know what enters the brain when” you’re coming back from injury, Campbell said.

That’s why Campbell said it will be settling for Bryant to be back on the field Tuesday, for the first day of padded practice at Lions camp.

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The Lions activated Bryant off the physically unable to perform list, but will manage his workload as they incorporate him into the defense over the next few days.

“The only way to really, truly feel like you’re ready is you’ve got to go through some stuff,” Campbell said. “You have to do football-type drills. You have to be able to go against the sled and kind of a guy over you, because it does. It kind of takes your mind off of the injury and it’s the best way to acclimate yourself into it. (When) you go out there and he’s working with the trainers and it’s like you’re going to do this bag drill, all you think about is what’s hurt. But now all of a sudden you get with the rest of your teammates or you’re getting coaching, you start to forget about the fact that, ‘Hey, this is where this thing was hurting.’ We know he’s ready, we’ll be smart with him.”

Bryant, a fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2019, has played sparingly in his first two seasons, appearing in just 10 of a possible 32 games. He spent time on injured reserve in each of his first two seasons because of pectoral injuries, and missed time last year with a thigh injury.

Bryant, who has 25 tackles and a blocked punt in his career, is expected to compete for a roster spot as an edge rusher this fall behind Trey Flowers, Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara and Charles Harris.

Cornerback Quinton Dunbar is out for personal reasons, Campbell said, and linebacker Derrick Barnes is dealing with a hamstring injury that first flared up in spring.

“It’s just lingering a little bit so that’s why we held him back,” Campbell said. “But there again, we’re being smart with him. I don’t think this is a major issue it’s something that we do feel like if we put him back out there we can make this thing worse than it needs to be.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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