The Detroit Lions have been without second-round rookie defensive lineman Josh Paschal since Week 2 of organized team activities. Because he is the only Lions rookie yet to have signed his NFL contract, that led to (reckless) speculation that negotiations were keeping him out of the lineup.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell cleared the air on Wednesday, noting that Paschal was dealing with an injury they were monitoring.
“We’re trying to be smart with him,” Campbell said. “He’s got a lower extremity injury that we’re just trying to be smart (with). There will be a couple guys that we back of today just to be smart. Trying to get them out of here healthy.”
Paschal finished his Kentucky career battling through a lower-body injury, which was both described as a groin and leg injury. He missed out on the team’s bowl game against Iowa and he skipped out on the Senior Bowl due to the injury to prepare for the NFL Combine—where he did some—but not all—of the on-field drills. However, on draft night, Paschal told the Lions media that he was back to full strength.
“I’m all good now though, 100 percent,” Paschal said.
Just a few weeks ago, the Lions claimed John Cominsky off of waivers, who has been serving a similar role to Paschal with the second and third-team defenses.
Paschal is one of three players in the Lions’ draft class who have been sidelined with an injury, joining first-round receiver Jameson Williams and fifth-round tight end James Mitchell, both of whom are recovering from ACL tears.