Cornerback Jerry Jacobs was one of the better feel-good stories for the 2021 Detroit Lions. After shadowing Jeff Okudah for all of training camp—hoping to learn from the first-round pick—Jacobs, an undrafted prospect, managed to make the 53-man roster. Not only that, but when injuries hit the Lions’ secondary, Jacobs eventually jumped into a starting position and held his own. Jacobs posted a 66.7 PFF coverage grade, which was fourth-best among NFL rookie cornerbacks with at least 200 snaps.
Unfortunately, though, Jacobs suffered a torn ACL in Week 14’s game against the Denver Broncos, ending his rookie season early and potentially threatening his ability to be ready for Year 2.
This year, during offseason workouts and minicamp, Jacobs was present but sidelined. He appeared to be moving around pretty well, and in May he promised he’d “be back sooner than you think.”
Defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant wouldn’t give an exact date, but he also hinted that Jacobs was progressing ahead of schedule.
“He’s in a very good place. Again, small victories,” Pleasant said during minicamp. “I like to say he’s ahead of the curve right now.”
Now we may have an actual timeline for Jacobs’ return.
On Friday, Jacobs posted an Instagram story from the Lions facility with the camera pointed at his knee. The caption:
“I’m on they ahh. Just one more month.”
If Jacobs is indeed talking about his return from injury—and it’s probably safe to assume he is—that means he’s on track to return just in time for training camp, which is expected to start at the end of July. Of course, Jacobs will still need time to get in football shape, so it’s entirely possible he starts camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but he would be eligible to come off the injury list and practice as soon as he’s ready.
Jacobs is one of many players who will be battling an injury in the hopes to return by training camp. Fellow cornerback Jeff Okudah, who is rehabbing from a torn Achilles, looks primed to be ready by camp after partial participation during offseason workouts. Romeo Okwara (torn Achilles), Jameson Williams (ACL), and James Mitchell (ACL) appear a little further out.