Lions shift Melifonwu to IR, promote Worley off practice squad
Allen Park — For the second straight week, the Detroit Lions have placed a starting cornerback on injured reserve.
Last week, Jeff Okudah's season was ended by a ruptured Achilles. It's not as serious for his replacement in the lineup, Ifeatu Melifonwu, but the rookie will need a few weeks to get healthy from the leg injury he suffered in Monday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"I feel bad for him," Lions coach Dan Campbell said on Tuesday. "He’s going to be down for a little while. He’s going to be down for a significant amount of time and so certainly won’t have him for at least a couple of weeks, if not more."
Melifonwu's stint on injured reserve will be a minimum of three weeks. He'll be eligible to return when the Lions play host to the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field on Oct. 17.
To address the team's need for depth at cornerback, the Lions are signing Daryl Worley off their practice squad.
Originally joining the team last week, the former third-round draft pick brings significant experience to a secondary lacking in it. In five seasons, he's appeared in 66 games, including 54 starts.
Drafted by Carolina in 2016, Worley spent two years with the Panthers, before he was traded to Philadelphia. He was released by the Eagles without playing a down for the franchise after he was arrested for a DUI, disorderly conduct and carrying a firearm in public. He pleaded guilty to all three charges.
Following his release from the Eagles, he was quickly signed by the Raiders, where he played two seasons after serving a four-game suspension to start the 2018 season.
Worley signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, but was released midway through the season after being benched. From there, he spent time with the Bills before ending the year back with the Raiders.
After the Carolina Panthers poached Zane Gonzalez off the Lions' practice squad last week, the team felt the need to re-add some depth at kicker. They did so by bringing back a familiar face, Ryan Santoso.
A behemoth for the position, the 6-foot-5, 258-pounder spent the 2018 and 2019 offseasons with the Lions. The big-legged kicker went on to serve as a kickoff specialist for the Tennessee Titans later that year.
In 2020, he joined the Giants practice squad and remained with the franchise until he was traded to the Panthers in August. In the season-opener, he made both of his field goal attempts, the first of his career, but missed one of two extra points, leading to his release in favor of Gonzalez.
Detroit's starting kicker, Austin Seibert, made his only field goal attempt against the Packers on Monday, a 43-yarder at the end of the first half. He's now 2-for-3 on the season, with makes from 43 and 49 yards and a miss from 51. He's also converted all four of his extra point attempts.