Lions place Jerry Jacobs, Romeo Okwara, Josh Paschal on PUP list, among other moves

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions have made some moves ahead of training camp.

The team on Sunday announced that cornerback Jerry Jacobs and defensive ends Romeo Okwara and Josh Paschal have been placed on the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

The Lions placed cornerback Jerry Jacobs on the PUP list on Sunday.

Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams and linebacker Natrez Patrick have been placed on the active/non-football injury (NFI) list, according to the team.

None of these players are expected to be ready for action when training camp opens later this week, but they all would be eligible to begin practicing immediately if they were to come off the injured lists before preseason. Should they remain on the PUP or NFI lists at the end of preseason, they will be forced to sit out at least the first four games of next season. 

The NFL previously forced players that finished preseason on the PUP list to miss the first six games of the season, but changed that rule to four games over the offseason.

Jacobs had a surprisingly strong season with the Lions in 2021 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent. He made 13 appearances and nine starts, grading out as Pro Football Focus' highest-graded UDFA and fifth-best rookie corner.

He suffered a torn ACL in December — an injury that typically puts a player out for upward of nine months. Detroit's preseason finale is set for Aug. 28, about 8½ months following Jacobs' injury. He's one of the stronger candidates to come off the PUP list before the season begins, but that tight of a timeline makes the situation appear up in the air, as it stands.

Okwara, meanwhile, also will be an interesting one to watch, although with less optimism. He suffered a torn Achilles in Detroit's Week 4 matchup with Chicago last season. That recovery can be as short as nine months, but is typically closer to 12. 

The time between Okwara's injury (Oct. 3) and the preseason finale is about 10 months and three weeks.

Okwara's status on the PUP list makes it all the more interesting that third-year cornerback Jeff Okudah, who tore his Achilles in last year's season opener against San Francisco, is not on the PUP list to start the season. Though the injuries happened just three weeks apart, Okudah seems to be tracking toward being ready for Week 1 — or shortly after. 

More: Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah 'hungry' to return from Achilles injury

Little speculation can be applied to Paschal, who was selected by Detroit with a second-round pick in the 2021 draft and is dealing with what head coach Dan Campbell called "a lower-extremity injury" during OTAs. 

The least surprising name on this list is Williams, the first-round rookie wide receiver out of Alabama who tore his ACL in the national championship game back in January. Lions brass has cautioned the excitement about when Williams will be able to return to the field, with his projected recovery time figuring to stretch well into the season. 

Patrick's injury is unknown. A former UDFA in 2019, Patrick was signed by the Lions in May after a tryout during the team's rookie minicamp. He appeared in 25 games over two seasons with the Rams (2019-20), but hasn't taken a snap since.

nbianchi@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @nolanbianchi