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Lions News: Levi Onwuzurike takes part in Detroit’s voluntary offseason program

Despite back surgery, Detroit Lions DT Levi Onwuzurike is taking part in the team’s offseason program, a positive sign that his career is not over.

Detroit Lions Training Camp Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

This week, the Detroit Lions were among the majority of NFL franchises who began their offseason workouts. While we’re only in Phase 1 of those workouts—which is basically only allows conditioning, strength training, and rehab—it is the first opportunity for the players to get together in the leadup for the 2023 season.

Through Tuesday, the Lions have offered two different sets of offseason workout photo galleries, allowing fans to do their own incomplete attendance of who is there in Allen Park this week. Most of the people you’d expect are there, but there was one notable name that should draw some extra interest.

As seen in the walk-up photos provided by the Lions, 2021 third-round pick Levi Onwuzurike was on hand. Onwuzurike missed all of the 2022 season, dealing with a lingering back injury that caused him to be hampered for most of his rookie season, as well.

Onwuzurike’s presence doesn’t tell us a ton about his current progress after undergoing surgery last year. After all, free agent addition Emmanuel Moseley—who is just five months removed from his torn ACL—was also on hand. However, the fact that he is in there putting in work suggests the defensive tackle still intends on continuing his football career.

“It’s great to see Levi back,” defensive tackle Alim McNeill said on Tuesday. “Levi is a character, so anytime you can hang around Levi doing anything, you’ll be alright.”

When asked his expectations for Onwuzurike this year, McNeill offered positive thoughts.

“I just, you know, hope he gets back as healthy as he can,” McNeill said. “I’m just excited to see him back moving around and being Levi again. It’s been pretty cool.”

Earlier this offseason, Lions coach Dan Campbell gave a pretty incomplete update on Onwuzurike’s status.

“We talked to him a couple of weeks ago, he was doing good, the rehab has gone well, but you just don’t know. You don’t know with a back. But I mean certainly, he’s going to get an opportunity if the body will allow it.”

We’ll see where things are headed with Onwuzurike, but this has to be considered a somewhat positive development.

  • Former NFL general manager Scott Pioli was on “Good Morning Football” this week, and before he signed off with the crew, he had to make sure to give the Detroit Lions some love:

  • Couple of fun updates for Lions players from this past weekend. For one: Amon-Ra St. Brown joined C.J. Gardner-Johnson for a game of Family Feud:

And a big congratulations goes to Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes:

  • Some new uniform numbers dropped, as confirmed by the team’s website:

  • The Ford Field Twitter account teased some Lions-related(?) announcement coming on Thursday:

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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.