Lions swap edge rushers, activating Julian Okwara and scratching Austin Bryant
Green Bay — The Detroit Lions have five edge rushers on the roster, but will typically only be able to justify having four active on game days.
For the season opener, it was Julian Okwara who was scratched from the lineup, but for Monday night's game in Green Bay, it will be Austin Bryant taking a seat.
A fourth-round draft pick out of Clemson in 2019, Bryant battled injuries his first two seasons, missing 22 of the team's 32 games during that stretch. Entering his third year healthy, he impressed in the preseason, earning a job. But the Lions leaned heavily on their starters in their Week 1 loss to San Francisco, with both Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara playing at least 89% of the team's defensive snap. Bryant, on the other hand, was on the field for just one.
Julian Okwara will make his debut after leading the team in defensive snaps during the preseason. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn noted this week that an opportunity was coming, although didn't give away that it would be this week.
"Each week presents something different, and the one thing I try to do is make sure we have the personnel up that’s going to present a problem for our opponent," Glenn said. "Julian will be up. I can’t say exactly what game, just like I can’t anyone else. Those guys are going to practice, and if this week, we say Julian is going to give us the best chance, then he will be up, and he knows that."
In addition to Bryant, the Lions also listed wide receiver Tyrell Williams, defensive tackle Kevin Strong, cornerback Corey Ballentine and running back Jermar Jefferson as inactive.
Williams and Strong previously had been ruled out with concussions, while Ballentine just arrived as a waiver claim earlier in the week. Jefferson, a seventh-round draft pick, is a healthy scratch for the second consecutive week.