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Lions CB Jeff Okudah has 'encouraging' performance in preseason opener

Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah enters what is essentially a make-or-break season coming off an Achilles injury that relegated the former No. 3 overall pick to just one game last season.

Head coach Dan Campbell said Monday he liked what he saw from the corner in the first preseason action of 2022.

"Listen, he did some good things," Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "It was encouraging. We came out of this game encouraged with Jeff."

Okudah, who has generated solid reviews during camp, played 18 snaps in the Lions' preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons, recording three tackles and allowing one 12-yard completion on a key third down on the opening drive.

"It was like, 'OK, this is pretty good,' just to see him get up there and press a little bit, challenge, and then, man, he's getting involved in some of these tackles," Campbell said. "And so I would say we were encouraged. That's the best way to say it. It was encouraging."

The Lions previous regime used a top-five pick on Okudah, believing the Ohio State product owned the type of speed to stick with No. 1 wideouts. But injuries have sideswiped the CB's early career. He's played in just 10 games in two seasons.

The current staff and front office isn't tied to Okudah, which means he must earn every rep as he tries to rewrite the narrative of his career. So far, so good, but Detroit needs to continue to see positive strides for Okudah if they have any hope of turning around a sieve secondary in 2022.

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