If the Detroit Lions look outside the organization to help replace Tracy Walker, these four available players may make sense.
Early in their Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker suffered was was first reported as an ankle injury. But being carted to the locker room and being ruled out for the remainder of the game so quickly was a red flag.
After the game, head coach Dan Campbell was not optimistic about Walker as he suggested an Achilles injury. On Monday morning, Walker confirmed his torn Achilles after an initial report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Walker is of course out for the season. The Lions secondary will miss it’s captain and quarterback, and late in the loss to the Vikings his absence was notable as a “miscommunication” left K.J. Obsorn roaming free to catch the winning touchdown.
The Lions will most likely try to replace Walker internally, with the available options out there right now being available for a reason. JuJu Hughes replaced Walker against the Vikings, but rookie Kerby Joseph and second-year converted cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu are likely to be somewhere in the mix too.
But Campbell did not shut the door on outside options. Here’s what he told the media on Monday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
(We’re) going to look at everything and see what gives us the best chance to win personnel wise, scheme wise, everything.”
Here are four outside options the Lions could consider to replace Tracy Walker.
4 external options for the Detroit Lions to replace Tracy Walker
4. Landon Collins, Free Agent
Collins was released by the Washington Commanders in March, and he has yet to find a new home. An Achilles tear in 2020 was followed by a rough season in 2021, as Pro Football Focus ranked his work very poorly last year (172nd in coverage, out of 176 qualifying safeties). He is more name than game at this point, hence why he’s available approaching October.
Collins is really a hybrid safety/linbacker at this stage of his career, a productive player against the run and little else. His fit for Aaron Glenn’s split safety scheme looks a little strained then. But pure experience is something the Lions lack at safety, and Collins can surely help eliminate big communication errors on the back end.