clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Detroit Lions DT John Atkins opting out of 2020 season

The Lions have their first player opting out of the 2020 season.

NFL: DEC 29 Packers at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have their first player who has opted out for the 2020 NFL season. According to Adam Schefter, Lions defensive tackle John Atkins has opted out and will not play this year.

Atkins was in line to potentially be the team’s backup nose tackle behind free agent addition Danny Shelton. Last year, Atkins played that role behind Damon Harrison Sr. He logged 409 snaps in 12 game appearances, with 20 combined tackles over that time. Atkins, 27 years old, has just been in the NFL two seasons after going undrafted in 2018 following a career at Georgia.

At this point, Atkins has not made a public statement addressing the news.

This offseason, the Lions drafted another potential nose tackle in John Penisini with their sixth-round pick. With Atkins out of the picture, Penisini will likely compete with Olive Sagapolu, who signed a futures deal back at the end of 2019, for the backup job behind Shelton.

NEW: Join Pride of Detroit Direct

Jeremy Reisman will drop into your inbox twice a week to provide exclusive, in-depth reporting and insights from Ford Field. Subscribe to go deeper into Lions fandom, and join us on our path to win the Super Bowl.