It’s never easy to miss playing time, but missing the majority of his rookie season was rough on Detroit Lions rookie corner Ifeatu Melifonwu.
“It was tough going from starting and playing well and then getting injured and being out and watching for 10, 11 weeks so it feels really good to be back out there,” he said.
The cornerback is back on the field after suffering a strained quad muscle against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2 that kept him sidelined most of the season. Luckily, it didn’t require surgery.
But all those weeks, crutches and all, he was at those team meetings. He was observing practice. He was watching game film alongside fellow injured cornerback Jeff Okudah, breaking it down. Mentally, he remained in the game.
“I feel like my personality is kind of even-keeled but it definitely was tough going in — not really knowing what my role was — just being able to play multiple positions. First game I was at dime, second game I was asked to play a big role, and I felt I was playing well until that play where I got injured and then having to be out for like about 10-11 weeks. Just trying to stay positive,” he said.
Melifonwu officially returned three weeks ago against the Minnesota Vikings. Now he’s got two more games left, matching up against top receivers including Tyler Lockett and Davante Adams, and plans to make them count.
“I want to finish off the year strong. I want to basically show what I showed in the Green Bay game, the first half when I was out there, really up until that last play. I really want to show that and show what I can do,” Melifonwu said.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- Jeremy showed us some thoughts and condolences from some Lions players on the passing of John Madden yesterday, but today Anthony Lynn had this hilarious story from an interaction with the legendary football figure:
- Speaking of Madden, an awesome find by Greg Maiola:
Six current @Lions coaches were featured as players in Madden 06:— Greg Maiola (@Gom1094) December 29, 2021
- Aaron Glenn: 90 overall
- Hank Fraley: 87 overall
- Duce Staley: 87 overall
- Antwaan Randle El: 84 overall
- Dan Campbell: 81 overall
- Mark Brunell: 80 overall
RIP to a legend with a profound legacy. pic.twitter.com/g8DEl2Q4We
- From an evaluation of the Seahawks’ offense to thoughts on Jack Fox’s throwing abilities, Detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman offers a breakdown of what you should know from this week’s presser with Aaron Glenn, Anthony Lynn, and Dave Fipp.
- From CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso — Amon-Ra St. Brown headlines underrated young players on rebuilding clubs who deserve to keep their jobs in 2022.
- “It’s about Campbell’s campaign to win hearts and minds in the locker room and in the owner’s office.” The Detroit Free Press’ Carlos Monarrez on what Jared Goff’s return against the Seahawks this Sunday would mean. ($)
- Sights and Sounds from the Atlanta game, featuring a mic’d up Michael Brockers.
Check out field-level highlights and mic'd up sound from our Week 16 game at Atlanta in this week's Sights & Sounds! pic.twitter.com/AnmiDNWTrV— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 30, 2021
- Crazy — a whopping 71% of early bettors are taking the Lions this week, even with Goff’s uncertain status. Along the same lines, it turns out the Lions are among the only teams with at least 10 wins against the spread.