Jeff Okudah’s ‘up-and-down’ game ends with injury to Lions cornerback

Detroit News

Detroit — It’s still too early to tell, but the worst-case scenario is still on the table for Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah after he had to be helped off the field and carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter of the team’s season-opening loss to San Francisco.

“Yeah, we’re checking him out now,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said after the game. “Obviously, it’s somewhere around the ankle. Could be Achilles. We’ll know a lot more this afternoon or tomorrow morning.”

If Okudah did rupture the tendon, it would end his second season with the Lions before it even got going. This after the No. 3 draft pick a year ago missed seven games his rookie season with multiple injuries, including a core-muscle issue that required season-ending surgery.

After a strong offseason, Okudah entered the regular season with lofty expectations, but his performance against the 49ers was uneven. He got chewed out by position coach Aubrey Pleasant after an early touchdown drive and later gave up a 79-yard scoring reception after failing to properly locate an underthrown deep ball.

“We got the pressure that we wanted on (quarterback Jimmy) Garoppolo,” Campbell said. “The ball gets fluttered up in the air, a long one, and Jeff just didn’t get his eyes around. They made a play on the ball and it hurt, it hurt us.

“I would say for Jeff, it was an up-and-down game,” Campbell said. “He flashes on a few plays and you’re like, ‘Whoa, OK, there he is.’ The next thing you know, something happens. I don’t want to make excuses, but at the same time, he’s in Year 2 and he made some young errors. That’s what he did.”

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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