It’s been an arduous two years for Detroit Lions Levi Onwuzurike. Injured during his rookie season, Onwuzurike re-injured his back during 2022 training camp, and despite his initial diagnosis being optimistic, eventually, he underwent back surgery in October in an attempt to correct the issue.
Onwuzurike has been taking part in the Lions’ voluntary workouts during the spring of 2023, is making some positive steps towards returning to the field, and began running on grass last week during the first few practices of OTAs.
“I would say he’s probably right on schedule for what we thought,” Campbell said at his Thursday morning press conference. “He just got on the grass really about a week ago to where he can begin to run.”
While Onwuzurike is making progress to return to action, the Lions are not going to rush him back into game action too quickly and are currently monitoring how he progresses through the rehabilitation stages.
“So then really it’s, okay, how fast can—now that he’s moving, he’s out there on the grass, he’s able to run, he’s off the Altered G (anti-gravity treadmill)—how fast can his body come back? We don't entirely have that answer,” Campbell continued. “Certainly, we’re hoping that we get him in camp at some point, but I can’t give you a timeline of that right now.”
While Onwuzurike has been injured most of his two seasons with Detroit, his back surgery was a way of hitting the reset button and he is just eight months removed from that. With another two months or so to recover before training camp, it’d be a huge bonus if the Lions were able to get Onwuzurike back in the mix this fall.