Levi Onwuzurike and Julian Okwara headline Lions' Week 1 inactives

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Detroit Lions have an unquestionably young roster and are building for the future, but a few of those building blocks are among the inactives for the team's Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers. 

The Lions scratched second-year defensive end Julian Okwara and rookies Levi Onwuzurike and Jermar Jefferson for the matchup. 

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike is seen during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Okwara and Jefferson are healthy scratches, while Onwuzurike entered the day listed as questionable after being limited through the practice week with a hip injury. He also missed significant time during training camp with a back issue. 

Okwara, a third-round pick in 2020 who missed much of his rookie year due to injury, led the Lions with 125 defensive snaps during the preseason. But the decision to sit him suggests he's still at the bottom of the depth chart at his position, behind the team's other edge rushing reserves, Charles Harris and Austin Bryant. 

Jefferson sits in favor of Godwin Igwebuike, the converted safety who currently offers more on special teams.

In addition to those three, the Lions also scratched wide receivers KhaDarel Hodge and Tom Kennedy, as well as offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer. 

That means offensive tackle Will Holden will be active, days after he signed to the team's practice squad. He'll serve as an emergency option following starting left tackle Taylor Decker landing on injured reserve with a finger injury that required surgery this weekend. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers