This is a shocking turn of fate because Ford entered camp both as the team’s starting nickelback and as a key member of Detroit’s special teams. But at the midway point of camp, the Lions took Ford off of the nickel position after the emergence of undrafted rookie A.J. Parker.
Ford moved to the outside, where the Lions don’t have a lot of depth beyond starters Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye. Ford struggled on the outside a bit, but he played decently well against the Colts in the preseason finale, tallying two passes defended and three tackles. However, he did lose sight of his receiver on one play, allowing a 60-yard completion near the end of the first half.
This move could display the Lions’ confidence in the growth of rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu, who is now projected to be the team’s primary backup at outside cornerback going into the season. But who will take Ford’s spot on special teams, particularly at gunner, where he was one of the best in the league? Perhaps safety Jalen Elliott?
Ford sent his best to Detroit in a message on Instagram: