Lions activate cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu from injured reserve
The Detroit Lions got some defensive reinforcements on Monday, activating rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu off injured reserve.
A third-round draft pick out of Syracuse, Melifonwu has been out since suffering a thigh injury in Week 2 against Green Bay. He started that game in place of Jeff Okudah, who was lost a week earlier to an Achilles injury.
With both Okudah and Melifonwu sidelined, the Lions initially turned to converted safety Bobby Price, before undrafted rookie Jerry Jacobs took over the starting job.
With Jacobs playing well, Lions coach Dan Campbell doesn't plan on making any changes to the starting group following Melifonwu's activation.
"We see Jerry staying put," Campbell said. "Jerry will stay in there and keep doing what he's doing. We've got Iffy (Melifonwu) available and we'll work him in a little bit. Right now, it's just about getting Iffy back. He's kinda been in practice, but now that he's been elevated, let's see where he's at. I don't necessarily foresee us making any changes, secondary-wise, as far as the starting unit."
In 11 games, including seven starts, Jacobs has played 465 defensive snaps. He's been targeted 35 times in coverage, giving up just 20 receptions for 273 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Jacobs has broken up seven passes and forced a fumble, while allowing only one touchdown.
It's possible Melifonwu could get some playing time as a nickel corner. He saw some reps there during training camp and the team recently placed starter AJ Parker on injured reserve with an injured ankle, which will keep him sidelined at least the next two games.
With Parker out, safety Will Harris played most of the reps as the slot cornerback against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving.