clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Newly-signed Detroit Lions cornerback could get shot vs. old team

Detroit Lions cornerback Kindle Vildor was signed from the practice squad this week, and could get some time on defense against the Chicago Bears.

Chicago Bears v New England Patriots Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, the Detroit Lions quietly signed cornerback Kindle Vildor from the practice squad to their 53-man roster in a move that was overshadowed by placing defensive tackle Alim McNeill on injured reserve. It’s an eyebrow-raising move, considering many expected defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna to receive the promotion given the positional need and the fact that Bohanna has been elevated to the active roster a maximum of three times already.

But on Friday, Lions coach Dan Campbell explained why Vildor is getting the opportunity this week.

“Always liked the type of athlete that he was, the competitor that he is,” Campbell said. “He really fits what we do, because he can do a little bit of everything. He’s tough, he’ll tackle, so we play him in a variety of coverages. But, also, he’s a smart, crafty guy. He’s got cover skills and so look, it’s an opportunity to get up, let him compete and little bit and see where it goes.”

Vildor was a fifth-round pick for the Chicago Bears back in 2020. He spent three years there, playing in 44 games for the Bears, starting 22 of them. Over that time, he tallied 97 tackles, three tackles for loss, 10 passes defended and an interception. He was waived by Chicago in the final round of cuts this season, and has bounced around on the Titans and Eagles since. The Lions added him to their practice squad on November 14.

Detroit’s secondary has struggled in recent weeks. Take a look at the last four quarterback performances against the Lions defensive backs:

Justin Herbert: 27-of-40, 323 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 114.9 passer rating
Justin Fields: 16-of-23, 169 yards, 1 TD, 105.2 passer rating
Jordan Love: 22-of-32, 268 yards, 3 TDs, 125.5 passer rating
Derek Carr: 17-of-22, 226 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 105.5 passer rating

Last week, in particular, was a tough showing, as the Lions allowed the Saints to convert on five of seven third downs of 9 yards to go or longer.

“There’s a couple of young guys making errors they shouldn’t make and they’re going to learn from it,” Campbell said.

Both of the Lions outside cornerbacks have struggled this year. Veteran Cameron Sutton has earned just a 59.1 PFF coverage grade and is ceding a 103.6 passer rating when targeted. Jerry Jacobs has been arguably worse, with a 55.6 PFF coverage grade and a 103.4 passer rating allowed.

So does that mean Vildor is going to get his shot on defense this week against his former team? Campbell was coy when asked.

“He might, he might,” Campbell said. “He’s been competing and he’s been taking some reps, so we’ll see.”

At the very least, we’ll likely see Vildor on special teams, as he played several roles in that phase for the Bears over his three years there.

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.