Since being drafted by the Detroit Lions last month, all the talk surrounding cornerback Teez Tabor has been centered on his speed issues. His 40-times of 4.62 seconds at the NFL Combine and 4.7 seconds at his Pro Day were huge red flags for many evaluators and the pick has drawn wide criticism for the Lions.
But one of the most underreported issues with Tabor has been his hamstring. After the poor showing at the combine, Tabor brought up the injury as part of the reason for the slow time. “I was trying to be a tough guy because that's how I am,” Tabor told Ian Rapoport back in April.
Things only got worse when Tabor had a private visit with the Lions later in the draft process. “I went out during a workout with the Lions and pulled it even worse. They're the only team that really knows. It's still bad now,” Tabor said in early April.
So where do thing stand now a month later? It appears Tabor is still fairly hampered by the hamstring. “I’m working tirelessly in the training room,” Tabor said in a press conference on Friday. “Hopefully I’ll be about 100 percent by the time training camp comes.
Tabor has some time to make sure his rehab is complete, as he isn’t expected to make an immediate impact considering how crowded the Lions’ secondary is. The team is not only returning all three starting cornerbacks from last season, but they signed D.J. Hayden to a one-year, $5.5 million contract and drafted Jamal Agnew in the fifth round.
Tabor has versatility, so his role with the Lions—especially in 2017—is not completely clear. Tabor said he hadn’t been told how he’ll be used for the Lions this year. “Wherever the coaches ask me to play, that’s what I’m going to do,” Tabor said.
For now, his focus will be on rehabbing and learning, not breaking the starting lineup. “I can’t compete right now, I just want to learn,” Tabor said. “Before I can even compete, I have to know everything.” He’ll get his chance to start learning as OTAs begin next week.