Lions activate DE Trey Flowers off PUP list

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
New Lions defensive end Trey Flowers  will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Allen Park — After months of waiting, the Detroit Lions will finally get Trey Flowers on the practice field. The team announced the defensive end was activated off the physically unable to perform list Saturday morning. 

"It feels good, just to have the opportunity to come out here, work with the guys and take another step toward the season," Flowers said after practice. 

The crown jewel of the Lions' free-agency class, Flowers signed a five-year, $90-million contract with the team in March. The 26-year-old edge rusher had spent the previous four years with the New England Patriots, the franchise that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. 

Flowers had shoulder surgery shortly after the Patriots won the Super Bowl. He opted not to elaborate on how much pain he might have been dealing with last season, but acknowledged it's been difficult waiting to get the green light to join his new teammates on the field. 

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"It's definitely tough," he said. "I pride myself on fundamentals and technique, so not to have the chance to come out here and work on it has been kind of tough."

The plan is to ease Flowers back into action. He did little of consequence his first day back. 

"There still is a lot of camp left, so we have to be able to work him back into the mode and get him ready to go and do everything possible to acclimate him to where we are," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "He hasn’t played a game in a long time. He hasn’t really been out there in a long time, so he’s going to have to start from scratch like all of us and go from there."

Known as a well-rounded and efficient defender, Flowers is expected to bolster Detroit's inconsistent pass-rush from a year ago, while also providing steady support against the run.

In 15 games for the Patriots in 2018, Flowers recorded 57 tackles and 7.5 sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, he pressured the quarterback on 64 snaps, 25 more times than Romeo Okwara, who led the Lions in that department last season.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers