As Romeo Okwara works his way back from a torn Achilles’, when will the Lions’ edge rusher be fully healthy?
Coming off him leading the team with 10 sacks in 2020, the Detroit Lions signed Romeo Okwara to a three-year, $37 million deal with $25 million guaranteed and $20 million of that fully guaranteed at signing. Even with some ups and downs in his career, 7.5 sacks in 2018 followed by 1.5 sacks in 2019, the Lions made an investment.
In Week 4 last season against the Chicago Bears, Okwara suffered a season-ending Achilles’ tear. He had one sack and six pressures in less than four games, so his absence was a factor in the Lions having such a lackluster pass rush last season.
Okwara has obviously been limited during the offseason as he works his way back from the injury, and it remains to be seen what his activity level will be when training camp starts next month.
Detroit Lions: When will Romeo Okwara be fully healthy?
Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash talked about some of his pupils earlier this week from the final phase of OTAs. Okwara’s health was a subject he addressed.
He was here last week,” Wash said. “He’s not completely healthy yet. But, you know, with an Achilles, there’s guys that have come back real quick and haven’t missed a beat. And, the way he works, and the way he prepares himself physically, we anticipate we’ll get the Romeo back that we know.”
The article from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press requires a subscription to read, but a look within the tweet from the Lions’ beat writer points to Wash indicating Okwara won’t be ready to return until the the middle of the season.
“Middle of the season” is vague enough to convey a time window where Okwara could return. Does it mean Week 4, roughly one year from when he suffered the injury? Week 7? Week 10?
Week 1, around 11 months out from the injury, has always been a bit unlikely for Okwara to be fully healthy and play a full complement of snaps. There haven’t been any known setbacks in his rehab, but he hasn’t been as outward on social media as fellow Achilles’ rehabber Jeff Okudah with his recovery progress.
Achilles’ tears have altered careers, and the Lions should not rush Okwara. The time for concern about his recovery progress, should there ever be any, is not now or even next month when training camp starts. Even being placed on the PUP list to start the season would offer some clarity, but not necessarily be fodder for great concern. So patience (for Lions fans/followers) and caution (from the team) are the words here regarding when Okwara will be ready to go.