The Detroit Lions officially placed rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu on injured reserve Wednesday morning. The Lions' third-round pick suffered a thigh injury in Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers while in coverage against Davante Adams.
The Lions won’t be able to activate Melifonwu from IR for at least three weeks, but head coach Dan Campbell made it sound like he’ll miss more time than that.
“He’s going to be down for a significant amount of time and so certainly won’t have him for at least a couple of weeks, if not more,” Campbell said on Tuesday.
To help the Lions' secondary, which is already missing No. 1 cornerback Jeff Okudah due to a season-ending Achilles injury, Detroit signed veteran cornerback Daryl Worley to their 53-man roster after adding him to the practice squad last week. A former third-round pick from the Carolina Panthers, Worley has started a total of 54 games since 2016, but he has been a journeyman over the past two years. He started 15 games for the Raiders in 2019, then spent time with the Bills, Cowboys, and Raiders last year.
Another option to start is converted safety Bobby Price, who stepped in for Melifonwu on Monday night and performed decently, according to Campbell.
“I thought he did pretty good,” Campbell said. “I thought he went out there and competed. I thought he played aggressive, he was unfazed and man, it was encouraging. I would say right now, certainly, he’s a guy that we’re looking at being over there.”
To fill Worley’s vacated spot on the practice squad, the Lions signed kicker Ryan Santoso, who was most recently with the Panthers. The Lions are familiar with Santoso, as he was in camp battles with the team in both 2018 and 2019. He’ll replace Zane Gonzalez as the team’s backup kicker, as Gonzalez was claimed off Detroit’s practice squad last week, ironically by the Panthers. Detroit’s starting kicker, Austin Seibert, has made all but one kick (51 yarder) for the Lions thus far.