Observations: What to make of Jeff Okudah being listed behind Will Harris on Lions’ unofficial depth chart
Okudah has split first-team reps with Will Harris throughout training camp, and is listed behind the converted safety on the depth chart heading into the Detroit Lions’ preseason opener on Friday against Atlanta. “I would say it’s officially unofficial,” head coach Dan Campbell said of Okudah’s place on the depth chart. I mean, there’s so many things that are going to shake out. “We’ll figure that out once we get to the season,” Campbell said. Now a year later, he’s missed most of training camp with another back injury.mlive.com
Observations: Austin Seibert banks in 63-yarder off crossbar, takes lead in Lions kicker battle
ALLEN PARK -- Austin Seibert has taken a lead in the battle to become the Detroit Lions’ next place kicker. “I thought they both did a good job, but I felt really good about Seibert,” Campbell said before practice on Monday. Seibert has been excellent throughout camp, including banking in a 63-yarder off the crossbar at the intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday at Ford Field. “But at the end of the day, that’s my job, is to go out there and do things like that. That’s good stuff from a backup kicker.mlive.com
Lions’ Ifeatu Melifonwu shows growth at safety with solid interception in camp
ALLEN PARK -- Ifeatu Melifonwu showed some of the ability behind the Detroit Lions’ decision to test their second-year defensive back at safety during Thursday’s training camp practice. “(I) drifted back and then the dig came right behind me and I snagged it.”The Lions initially tested the 2021 third-round cornerback pick at safety to open Organized Team Activities. Dan Campbell said he believed the change for Melifonwu -- and Will Harris from safety to cornerback -- would be a permanent thing at the start of camp. “I don’t think there’s that many corners that can go to safety,” Melifonwu said. “It is an easier transition to go from corner to safety than safety to corner, but I feel like just my size, and athletic ability helps, and physicality.mlive.com
Lions’ Will Harris trying to re-invent himself at cornerback heading into contract year
He was taken in the third round of the 2019 draft, but has ranked among the 10 worst safeties in the league every year since. Now just as Harris is headed into a contract year, and doing so firmly on the roster bubble at that, the Lions are asking him to move to another position. And Will Harris is doing it with a confidence that belies his rocky three-year stint in Detroit. Then midway through Harris’ rookie season, veteran safety Quandre Diggs was traded to Seattle. All told, he ranked among the 10 worst safeties in the league according to ProFootballFocus.mlive.com
Training camp observations: Quintez Cephus makes spectacular catch in bid to make Lions roster
Cephus turned in a strong performance in OTAs and minicamp before the break, then returned for the first day of training camp to do, well, this:That, ladies and gentlemen, is a candidate for WR5 on your Detroit Lions. 128 Detroit Lions training camp 2022Aidan promoted: After Aidan Hutchinson worked mostly with the second-team during the offseason program, the Lions have promoted the second overall pick to the top defense for the start of camp. Up-downs back: Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn opened his first training camp in Detroit by having his unit do 50 up-downs. Coach Campbell joining the squad for up-downs to kick off #LionsCamp 😤 pic.twitter.com/orxKOoUTjU — Detroit Lions (@Lions) July 27, 2022Position changes: Will Harris is officially a cornerback now, according to the team’s roster. There are more than 30 cameramen, technicians, producers and so on in town to produce the hit HBO show from Lions camp.mlive.com
2022 NFL draft: Detroit Lions take Illinois safety Kerby Joseph in third round
The Detroit Lions added another piece to their defense in the 2022 NFL draft. Detroit selected Illinois safety Kerby Joseph at Pick 97 in Round 3 near the end of Day 2. He fills an obvious need around these parts, adding a potential ball-hawking safety next to Tracy Walker. The Lions re-signed Walker to a three-year deal earlier this offseason. He projects as quite the consolation prize for those wishing the Lions would have taken a safety on Day 1.mlive.com
Detroit Lions haven’t decided where to play Will Harris next season
ALLEN PARK -- Will Harris is facing an uncertain future in Detroit. Not only is the former third-round pick headed into a contract year, but he doesn’t even have a position right now. He’s struggled as a safety throughout his career in Detroit, but impressed coaches while moonlighting as a cornerback down the stretch last season. Now the staff is weighing how best to deploy a guy who has struggled to live up to expectations.mlive.com
Detroit Lions lose second player to Atlanta Falcons
ALLEN PARK -- Dean Marlowe has become the second Detroit Lions free agent to sign a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons, joining former receiver KhaDarel Hodge. Marlowe signed with the new Lions regime last offseason, then went on to start nine games while playing a career-high 800 defensive snaps. Detroit has re-signed top safety Tracy Walker, but has serious needs everywhere else at the position. Fellow starter Will Harris is back, but he’s been a bottom-tier player throughout his three seasons in Detroit and is now entering a contract year. The Lions are expected to pursue a safety in this month’s draft, and some think they could take Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton with the No.mlive.com
2022 NFL draft: 5 safeties to watch for the Detroit Lions
Whether through free agency, internal avenues, April’s draft or a combination, it’s one of the more pressing needs around these parts. It means he’s a rock-solid option that shouldn’t break the bank due to his lack of playmaking or field-flipping chops. Marcus Williams and Jessie Bates III highlight the impressive free-agent offerings, while this year’s draft class isn’t too shabby either. Let’s dig into five safeties that could make sense for the Lions in April’s draft:Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre DameKyle Hamilton is challenging the notion that you shouldn’t draft a safety with a top-three pick. He’s been mocked to the Lions at the back of the first round in recent weeks too.mlive.com
Detroit Lions 2021 review: Jeff Okudah’s future shrouded in mystery after 2 forgettable seasons
The Detroit Lions have wrapped up the 2021 season. Previous entries: Quarterbacks | Running backs | Wide receivers | Tight ends | Offensive line | Defensive line/edgeDEFENSIVE BACKSStarters: CB Amani Oruwariye, CB Jerry Jacobs, CB A.J. Parker, S Tracy Walker, S Will HarrisBackups: CB Jeff Okudah, CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB Bobby Price, CB Mark Gilbert, CB Parnell Motley, CB Saivion Smith, S Dean Marlowe, S C.J. The former third-round pick was among the 10 worst safeties in the league in his first two seasons according to ProFootballFocus. In fact, he was even worse, finishing as the second-worst safety in the whole league this past season per PFF.mlive.com
Snap counts: D’Andre Swift leads Lions RBs in reps despite not seeing many touches in return
D’Andre Swift was back in the lineup for the first time since Thanksgiving, and while leading the Detroit Lions running backs in snaps, he didn’t see many touches. Swift ran four times for 32 yards, catching two of three targets for only 7 yards in his return. Williams had the most touches out of the backfield, running 11 times for 22 yards and one touchdown, catching all three targets for 22 yards. -- Amon-Ra St. Brown led the depleted receiver room as expected, with KhaDarel Hodge and Trinity Benson next in line. St. Brown had himself another big day, catching eight balls for a career-high 111 yards and one touchdown, adding a 26-yard score on the ground.mlive.com
Detroit Lions host CFL all-star cornerback for visit ahead of final 2 games of season
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions hosted defensive back DeAundre Alford for a visit per the NFL’s transaction wire from Wednesday. With the Lions down several pieces in their defensive backfield heading into the season’s final two games, this visit makes sense. Jerry Jacobs (ACL) and Jeff Okudah (Achilles) are lost for the season, with safety Will Harris taking over at outside cornerback, so exploring more depth is never a bad idea. Harris and rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu started outside at cornerback last week, with undrafted rookie A.J. Converted safety Bobby Price and Mark Gilbert have filled some snaps at cornerback recently, highlighting the lack of depth.mlive.com
Will Harris steps up for depleted Detroit Lions, aces first start at cornerback
He celebrated by breathing new life into his career with some surprisingly good cornerback play against the mighty Arizona Cardinals. Harris was taken in the third round of the 2019 draft to play safety, although has often struggled to live up to expectations. Then he volunteered to step into an even more foreign position against Arizona -- outside cornerback -- and played better than ever. Because Harris’ play spoke for itself. He was good enough to wonder whether his future just might be at cornerback on a more regular -- and perhaps even permanent -- basis.mlive.com
Detroit Lions add 2 defensive backs to COVID list, bringing total to 6 cases for the week
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions added cornerbacks Mark Gilbert and Ifeatu Melifonwu to the COVID reserve list, bringing the total to six cases on the week. Gilbert and Melifonwu join center Evan Brown, safety Tracy Walker, running back Jamaal Williams and cornerback Bobby Price on the COVID list. They have cornerbacks Corey Ballentine, Parnell Motley and Nickell Robey-Coleman on the practice squad, with a handful of moves expected Saturday afternoon. Walker landing on the COVID list could lead to even more shuffling by necessity in the defensive backfield. It’s also looking bare in the offensive backfield, with Swift and Williams down, not to mention in the defensive trenches.mlive.com
Lions DC Aaron Glenn falls on sword for Will Harris’ blown coverage on key third down
Even after those 5 penalty yards were marked off, the Lions still had Chicago’s offense pinned in a third-and-4 with 1:54 left. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn fell on his sword before practice on Thursday. Perhaps this was more about Glenn trying to fall on his sword to protect his guys than anything else. At any rate, it’s not like Harris’ mistake was the only one that doomed Detroit. They were flagged 5 yards for it, which led to Harris’ fateful mistake on third-and-4.mlive.com
Snap counts: S Dean Marlowe plays every defensive rep while Will Harris moves inside to slot
DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions relied heavily on Jerry Jacobs, Amani Oruwariye, Tracy Walker and Dean Marlowe on Thanksgiving, with each playing every defensive rep in the secondary. Parker missed the team’s 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears, with Will Harris seeing more looks from the slot. Harris has played there at times throughout the season but logged 63 defensive snaps against the Bears, with Marlowe taking over at safety. Reynolds showed flashes this time around, leading the team with three catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. Raymond also made his way back into the box score, catching three of four targets for 16 yards.mlive.com
Steelers RB Najee Harris after tying Lions: ‘I didn’t even know you could tie in the NFL’
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris was apparently prepared for another quarter on the quest for a win, unaware the NFL recognizes ties if nobody leads after overtime. The Steelers and Detroit Lions tied 16-16 in a sloppy, weird football game from Heinz Field. The Lions recovered the fumble, ran an ill-fated hook-and-ladder with their final snap, and that was that. “I didn’t even know you could tie in the NFL,” Harris said after the game. This tie also represents Detroit’s second tie in three years, with two of the three most recent ties in the league belonging to the Lions.mlive.com
Snap counts: Detroit Lions move pieces around in secondary with A.J. Parker out in Week 8
DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions were missing starting nickelback A.J. Parker in Sunday’s 44-6 loss to the Eagles, moving pieces around to fill his void. Safety Will Harris saw most of the early work from the nickel with Parker missing, finishing with a season-low 33 snaps, though. Swift had his worst game of the season despite the clear runway, running 12 times for 27 yards, adding five catches for only 24 yards. David Blough drew his first four snaps of the season, running once for 6 yards while not attempting a pass.mlive.com
Snap counts: Detroit Lions continue to tinker with rotations at wide receiver, safety in Week 7
Dan Campbell hinted at changes to the lineup throughout the week, and while there were tweaks, the Detroit Lions coach didn’t flip the world on its head. Geronimo Allison started at wide receiver for the first time of the season, fresh off getting promoted from the practice squad last week. Safety Dean Marlowe was a healthy scratch, clearing the way for Tracy Walker and Will Harris to dominate snaps back deep. Harris played all 65 defensive snaps while Walker only left the field for two of those plays. Williams ran hard against the Rams, moving the chains in some key spots to keep the Lions in that game.mlive.com
Lions undrafted rookie CB Jerry Jacobs could draw Ja’Marr Chase in second career start
Jacobs chose the latter, before transferring to Arkansas for his final season and then declaring early for the NFL draft. And that seems to be who Jacobs will draw for much of Sunday, when he’s expected to make his second NFL start when Detroit (0-5) hosts Cincinnati (3-2) at Ford Field. But now he appears to be on a collision course with Ja’Marr Chase, who has electrified the NFL with his big-play ability. “He just runs behind guys,” Jacobs said. So don’t worry.”The responsibility of guarding a guy like that in your second NFL start is not lost on Jacobs, who says he’s up for the challenge.mlive.com
Snap counts: Undrafted rookie Lions CB Jerry Jacobs replaces Bobby Price in starting lineup
The shuffling in the defensive backfield continued for the Detroit Lions in Week 5, with undrafted cornerback Jerry Jacobs getting the start. Jacobs drew 63 of 67 defensive snaps in his first start. Price had started the previous two games, seeing 125 defensive snaps over three weeks. -- Trey Flowers was indeed back in action, playing 78% of the defensive snaps. Julian Okwara had 20 defensive snaps, pressuring Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins once.mlive.com
Detroit Lions evaluating playing time for young pieces thrust to action on short-handed defense
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions are trying to find the healthy balance between playing their young defensive pieces without overloading their plate while still giving others opportunities on the quest to compete. The Lions lost cornerbacks Jeff Okudah and Ifeatu Melifonwu to serious injuries, decimating their already paper-thin room. The latter saw some time at safety, replacing Will Harris and playing next to Tracy Walker for a moment. He replaced Mike Ford as the team’s primary gunner before being thrust into action after Okudah and Melifonwu went down. I said this before, but we need these young guys to grow at a drastic rate, you know,” Campbell said after the game.mlive.com
Snap counts: Detroit Lions continue to shuffle defensive backfield pieces during loss to Bears
The ever-evolving defensive backfield situation continues to be that, with the Detroit Lions working Daryl Worley and Jerry Jacobs into the rotation in Sunday’s loss to the Bears. Bobby Price got another start opposite Amani Oruwariye but made way for Worley and Jacobs after 35 snaps. Worley actually saw some work at safety, replacing Will Harris and playing alongside Tracy Walker for a moment. The analytics site had Parker enjoying the best day, with brutally low grades for Oruwariye, Worley and Price. But we just -- they’re hurting us a little bit right now.”Things continued to move around in the safety room too.mlive.com
Detroit Lions’ Frank Ragnow, Romeo Okwara head to locker room with injuries
CHICAGO -- Hard to imagine that first quarter going any worse for the Detroit Lions. After they allowed a touchdown on their first defensive series, center Frank Ragnow shotgunned a snap off Jared Goff and right into the hands of a Bears defensive lineman while inside Chicago’s 10-yard line. Then on the very next play, safety Will Harris allowed a 64-yard pass over the top. Meantime, Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow was making his way up the tunnel with a toe injury, while edge rusher Romeo Okwara hobbled off the field with an ankle injury. All against a Bears team that managed just six points and 46 yards last week.mlive.com
Instant observations: Late comeback attempt not enough for mistake-prone Detroit Lions in loss
Good luck finding another team in the league that has undergone more substantial change than the Detroit Lions. And as those new-look Detroit Lions ran up the tunnel after their first half of the new era, they were showered with boos by the home crowd at Ford Field. Rookie Ifeati Melifonwu pounced on the ball, giving Detroit 52 seconds to go 70 yards for a stunning comeback. Welcome back, Detroit Lions football. -- There’s a reason the Los Angeles Rams gave Detroit Jared Goff and three draft picks, including two first-rounders, for Matthew Stafford.mlive.com
Lions’ Tracy Walker: ‘I personally see us being one of the best safety duos in the NFL’
ALLEN PARK -- Nobody allowed opposing quarterbacks to rack up more yards per pass last season than the Detroit Lions. “I personally see us being one of the best safety duos in the NFL,” safety Tracy Walker said. “I feel like Will has definitely stepped up, definitely has gotten a whole lot better, along with myself,” Walker said. Walker went on to have the worst season of his career in 2020, and vowed to return a different player. “Last year I was put in some hella tough situations and I had to try to adapt,” Walker said.mlive.com
Maybe, just maybe, we haven’t been talking enough about Lions safety Will Harris
ALLEN PARK -- Everything that’s ever been said about Will Harris since he joined the Detroit Lions hasn’t been very good. Then his third training camp rolled around, and almost nothing was said about him at all. Hell, better than T.J. Hockenson, who left tire marks on the defense day after day after day? But very quietly, it seems Harris has started to find his way too. And the Lions appear very confident he’s finally ready to be heard.mlive.com
Detroit Lions rolling with young cornerback room featuring 3 undrafted free agents
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions are embracing the youth movement, especially at cornerback with three undrafted free agents making their initial 53-man roster. Oruwariye, the team’s top cornerback from last year, is heading into Year 3. Lions coach Dan Campbell recently referred to Price as a “young fawn,” saying he thinks this is a good move for him and his development. It’s a very young group. Glenn previously said the group in Detroit reminds him of the first one he coached while in New Orleans.mlive.com
Lions S Will Harris feeling confident, comfortable in new scheme ahead of crucial Year 3
ALLEN PARK -- Things haven’t gone swimmingly for Will Harris through his first two seasons, and the Detroit Lions safety will be one of the first people to admit it. Still, the new coaching staff and defensive scheme have the 2019 third-round pick feeling confident and comfortable ahead of his crucial third season. Since coming out of Boston College, Harris, 25, has started 11 games while appearing in all 32 possible contests. While there were other reasons Quinntricia parted ways with Diggs, Harris’ play on the practice field gave them a little more confidence to do it. First-year Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn pointed to Harris as someone playing with more confidence in training camp.mlive.com
Lions DC Aaron Glenn already seeing improved confidence from young secondary
ALLEN PARK -- Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is already seeing Jeff Okudah, Will Harris and other members of the secondary play with more confidence through the first six days of training camp. Glenn and Lions coach Dan Campbell made it known early in their tenure that keeping things simple and instilling confidence in returning players was a primary goal. Glenn then said Detroit’s defense played without confidence and timidly last season during his first media session around these parts. Doing a helluva job,” Glenn said. Will Harris is another player Glenn said is playing with improved confidence to this point.mlive.com
Lions’ Dan Campbell keeping close tabs on position battles at safety, inside linebacker
ALLEN PARK -- Dan Campbell pointed to the safeties and inside linebackers when asked what he thought his team’s most important position battles were in the early stages of training camp. I would say inside linebacker first, then I would say safety position,” Campbell said. He’s been a special teams fixture for the Lions, logging 553 snaps in that department over the previous two seasons. Marlowe brings five years of experience and some recent success to the table, standing as the team’s most notable offseason addition to the safety room. Box linebacker, box safety.mlive.com
Detroit Lions training camp preview: All eyes on Jeff Okudah as new secondary takes shape
The Detroit Lions have a new head coach and general manager. You’d be hard-pressed to find another organization that has undergone more change than your Detroit Lions. Parker, S Will Harris, S D’Angelo Amos, S Jalen Elliott, S Alijiah Holder, S Godwin Igwebuike, S C.J. If you’re looking for a candidate for bounceback defensive player of the year in Detroit, Walker is as good of a bet as any. Roster projection: CB Jeff Okudah, CB Amani Oruwariye, CB Quinton Dunbar, CB Corn Elder, CB Mike Ford, DB Ifeatu Melifonwu, S Tracy Walker, S Dean Marlowe, S Will Harrismlive.com
2021 NFL draft preview: Detroit Lions still need immediate help in secondary
This is the sixth of an eight-part series previewing the Detroit Lions’ positional needs and priorities heading into the NFL draft, which is scheduled for Thursday-Saturday. Previously: Quarterbacks | Receivers | Tight ends | Offensive line | Running backsProjected starters: CB Jeff Okudah, CB Amani Oruwariye, CB Corn Elder, S Tracy Walker, S Dean MarloweProjected reserves: CB Quinton Dunbar, CB Mike Ford, DB Godwin Igwebuike, S Will Harris, S Jalen Elliott, S C.J. By Year 2, he was allowing more yards per snap on the inside than any other full-time slot in the game. And then there’s Desmond Trufant, who was handed a two-year, $20 million contract last offseason to help replace Darius Slay. If the Lions are looking for a little more physicality, they could do worse than Hamsah Nasirildeen.mlive.com
Detroit Lions signing safety Dean Marlowe after free-agent visit
Now they’ve turned their focus to the back end of the secondary, signing free-agent safety Dean Marlowe to a one-year contract on Thursday morning. Most of that work came at free safety (96 snaps), although he lined up in the box (54) and in the nickel (56) as well. Now that he’s stepped out of the shadow of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, Marlowe could see even more of the field in Detroit. Duron Harmon was the club’s top safety last year and led the entire defense in snaps, but remains unsigned. Then again, a lot of guys struggled under the previous regime, and perhaps performances will improve along with the coaching and scheme.mlive.com
Nats finally play, beat Braves 6-5 on Soto's walk-off in 9th
Juan Soto drove in the winning run with a single on a 3-0 pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the coronavirus-depleted Washington Nationals to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Atlanta Braves after waiting five days to start their season.
Nats reliever Harris out with blood clot in pitching arm
Harris has a blood clot in his right arm and is leaving spring training camp to be examined by a specialist, manager Dave Martinez said Friday, March 19, 2021. (Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via AP)Washington Nationals reliever Will Harris has a blood clot in his right arm and the team doesn't expect him to be in the bullpen on opening day. Carlos Martínez struggled in his fourth start for St. Louis. DODGERS 7, RANGERS 2Julio Urías made his fourth start for Los Angeles, allowing two hits in four shutout innings, striking out three. Adrian Houser made his fourth start.
2021 NFL free agency: Identifying the 25 best fits for the Detroit Lions
Alex Anzalone, LB, SaintsThe Lions need linebackers, plural. Ogunjobi has started 37 games over the last three seasons, recording 91 tackles and 13.5 sacks in that span. Brett Perriman, his father, played six seasons for the Lions in the 1990s, recording 428 catches for 5,244 yards and 25 touchdowns. He’s started 47 games since 2011, potentially adding a veteran presence with valuable athleticism off the bench behind Jared Goff. He’s started 32 consecutive games, intercepting four passes and making 163 total tackles during that span.mlive.com
Detroit Lions free agency preview: Bad contracts, busted draft picks create need in defensive backfield
This is the seventh of an eight-part series previewing the Detroit Lions’ positional needs heading into free agency. Williams (Saints), CB Troy Hill (Rams), S Rayshawn Jenkins (Rams), S D.J. The Lions’ free agency plan is beginning to emerge after the early signings of guys like receiver Tyrell Jackson and tight end Josh Hill. He’s played both the strong and free safety positions, as well as in the slot. “Putting him at free safety, he made it hard for our second-round draft pick to get on the football field,” Anthony Lynn said.mlive.com
Nats release Jeffress for unspecified 'personnel reasons'
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jeremy Jeffress was released by the Washington Nationals on Sunday for what general manager Mike Rizzo called unspecified “personnel reasons,” less than two weeks after the reliever agreed to terms on a minor league deal. The 33-year-old Jeffress was taken by Milwaukee in the first round pick of the 2006 amateur draft and has pitched for five teams over 11 years in the majors. Last season, Jeffress went 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA and eight saves in 10 chances for the Chicago Cubs. AdMore than a decade ago, Jeffress was suspended twice for violating the minor league drug treatment and prevention program. He has said he used marijuana to manage a severe case of anxiety and he was diagnosed with juvenile epilepsy in 2013.
2021 NFL draft: 5 defensive backs who could make sense for the Detroit Lions
Samuel Jr. also comes with that recognizable name as the son of four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. Samuel Jr. made a name for himself, though, amid a crumbling program down at Florida State these last couple of years too. Samuel Jr. could be quite the steal come Day 2. ESPN has Samuel Jr. ranked as the seventh-best cornerback. He had 91 tackles his sophomore season, then came back with 101 tackles while forcing three fumbles the next season.mlive.com
Brad Hand gets $10.5M from Nationals, $6.5M of it deferred
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers in the ninth inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Red in Cleveland. Brad Hand has agreed in principle to join the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)WASHINGTON – Brad Hand knows his fastball's speed declined more than 2 mph over the past two seasons. So the Washington Nationals' new reliever is trying to reverse that trend. The deferred money will come in payments of $1.5 million due next Jan. 15, $3.5 million due Jan. 15, 2023, and $1.5 million due Jan. 15, 2024.
AP source: Nationals agree to sign All-Star closer Brad Hand
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers in the ninth inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Red in Cleveland. Brad Hand has agreed in principle to join the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)WASHINGTON – All-Star closer Brad Hand has agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The 30-year-old left-hander is poised to become Washington’s closer after leading the majors with 16 saves during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. After tying for last place in the NL East, the Nationals have acquired Hand, starter Jon Lester (pending a physical), slugger Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Josh Bell.
Detroit Lions release safety Jayron Kearse ahead of season finale
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions have released safety Jayron Kearse heading into Week 17, the team announced Tuesday. Walker returned to a near every-down role without Kearse in the lineup last week. Duron Harmon, another pending free agent, has remained in a near every-down role since the season started. Kearse missed last week’s game with a hip injury despite missing only one defensive snap in the team’s Week 15 loss in Tennessee. Kearse will be available to claim via waivers to the rest of the league once his release is official.mlive.com
Snap counts: Tracy Walker returns to every-down role for Detroit’s depleted defense in ugly loss
DETROIT -- Jayron Kearse missed Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, and it was safety Tracy Walker to rise in the rotation. Walker, a former starter and standout in the secondary, has been in a rotational role for the team’s previous six games. Pro Football Focus credited Walker for allowing three catches on three targets for 47 yards and two touchdowns on his 77 snaps. Moore even came on for four snaps to finish the game, his first defensive snaps of the season. The third-round rookie registered his career’s first statistics, making two tackles including one for loss on a career-high 20 snaps.mlive.com
Snap counts: Lions S Will Harris sees another start, most action since before bye week
DETROIT -- Will Harris hadn’t seen more than 40% of the defensive snaps since Week 2, despite drawing two consecutive starts. Harris was on for 23 plays, seeing 41% of the work in Detroit’s 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving. Harris even drew the start in the team’s three-safety package next to Jayron Kearse and Duron Harmon. Walker saw some work at corner, and it didn’t go too well, which opened the door for Harris to see additional run at safety. PFF credited him with only one permitted pressure on those 82 snaps.mlive.com
Snap counts: Halapoulivaati Vaitai benched for second half, continuing rough first season in Detroit
Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s nightmare-inducing first year with the Lions continued, with the team rolling Oday Aboushi at right guard for the second half. Vaitai made it 24 plays at right guard before Aboushi came on for the final 32 reps (57%). Stafford was sacked five times, hit 11 times and the rushing attack couldn’t muster much. Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow and Tyrell Crosby held it down on the offensive line for all 56 snaps. Burns had two of Carolina’s five sacks, registering four of the team’s 11 hits on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.mlive.com
Cash's bullpen blunder joins Little, others in playoff lore
Aaron Boone hit a game-ending leadoff homer in the 11th, sending New York to the World Series. 2015 WORLD SERIES GAME 5Matt Harvey and the New York Mets held a 2-0 lead, needing a win to send the Series back to Kansas City. 2016 WORLD SERIES GAME 7The Chicago Cubs led the Cleveland Indians 5-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. 2019 WORLD SERIES GAME 7Too bad for Houston fans, the last time they saw Gerrit Cole throw, it was in the bullpen rather than on the mound. “I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead,” Hinch said.
Lions stun Falcons 23-22 after letting Atlanta score late TD
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) makes the catch against Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)ATLANTA – The Lions let the Falcons score a touchdown. Matthew Stafford connected with T.J. Hockenson on an 11-yard touchdown pass as time expired and Matt Prater booted a 48-yard extra point to give Detroit an improbable 23-22 victory over Atlanta on Sunday. The Lions (3-3) won their second in a row — their first winning streak since early in the 2019 season. Touchdown, Lions.
Lions' Tracy Walker back in every-down role after opening year in safety platoon
ALLEN PARK -- Tracy Walker has returned to an every-down role after opening the year platooning with fellow Detroit Lions safeties Will Harris and Duron Harmon. His inconsistent role possibly played a part in some of these issues because Walker was rock solid in coverage last season. Regardless, because worst-case scenario -- god willing, god forbid -- if I got hurt tomorrow, we going to need Will to step up, and he’s going to have to make plays. Related: Lions' Tracy Walker to honor Ahmaud Arbery with helmet decal, cleats this season“OK. “But, even if those fans were not there, I’m still going to go out there, and I’m going to ball.mlive.com
Lions’ Jayron Kearse eligible to come off suspension today, creating a logjam at safety
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions have already drawn scrutiny for how they’ve handed out playing time at safety this season. Jayron Kearse, Detroit’s biggest safety, is eligible to return to the team today after serving a three-game suspension for a substance abuse violation. Harris played just 29.2% of the defensive snaps, his lightest workload since Week 2 of his rookie season. He played 24.7% of the defensive snaps last year while making three starts. He’s tall, he creates challenges for opponents' receivers, tight ends, whoever he’s covering really because of his length and his speed.mlive.com
Struggling Lions S Will Harris: ‘I’m trying my best to do what’s asked of me’
“I take a lot of pride in not being that person to negatively affect a team,” Harris said. But Harris' rise on the practice field comforted the team into believing it had a natural replacement who could play at a comparable level. A year later, he’s still missing tackles, he’s still taking bad angles, he still hasn’t covered all that well. Things happen. “I’m going out there and I’m trying my best to do what’s asked of me, to play within the scheme of the defense,” Harris said.mlive.com
The Detroit Lions are 0-2: How do they fix their season?
DETROIT – The Detroit Lions are 0-2 after two bad losses to start the season. Comparing the first two games of this year to last season show Stafford’s stats have dropped off. The Lions are still running deeper patterns, Stafford just isn’t throwing the ball deep as much as last year. Finally, Jamal Agnew lost the Lions 20 yards of field position when he committed a personal foul on a punt return. Getting rid of those mistakes is a good start to helping the Lions try to avoid starting 0-3 this year.
It sure sounds like the Lions will continue platooning ex-starter Tracy Walker
ALLEN PARK -- There are many glaring issues with the Detroit Lions through two weeks, but perhaps the most confusing storyline has concerned the reduced role of safety Tracy Walker. Walker split reps with fellow Lions safeties Will Harris and Duron Harmon in the opener, then played an even smaller part in Detroit’s 42-21 loss in Green Bay. Walker logged the least amount of snaps among the three on Sunday, not to mention the fourth-fewest on the entire defense. Whatever happens, it sure sounds like Patricia plans to split reps between Harris and Walker moving forward. “We continually evaluate it as we go through the course of the season and things can change as we go through.mlive.com
3 things we learned: Jesse James trending toward worst contract of Bob Quinn era
Tight end Jesse James just might go down as the worst free-agent contract of the Bob Quinn era. James got a four-year deal that averages $5.65 million annually, which is top-20 money for a tight end. James and playcaller Darrell Bevell had a heart-to-heart this offseason about what went wrong there, and Bevell promised to get him more involved. Of course, tight ends do a lot more than just catch passes, but James' blocking has been about average. Fox added shots of 50 yards (0-yard return), 52 yards (fair catch) and 45 yards (landed right on the sideline at the 10).mlive.com
Snap counts: What in the world are the Detroit Lions doing with safety Tracy Walker?
The Lions lost 42-21 in Green Bay, surrendering 31 unanswered points on their way to another blown double-digit lead. Fellow safety Duron Harmon played 100% of the defensive snaps for the second straight week, with Will Harris outpacing Walker by 10 reps or 14% of the defensive share. Related: Are the Detroit Lions really considering not starting Tracy Walker at safety in Week 1? Walker was the team’s third-round pick in Lions coach Matt Patricia’s first season in Detroit. Those three were the lone corners to play in Week 2, with the Lions playing around with their three safeties and linebackers.mlive.com
The Lions are back among the league leaders in penalties
The Lions were flagged seven more times for 70 more yards in their 42-21 meltdown on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Even after five of those penalties were declined, Detroit still ranks third in enforced penalties. Column: The case is building against Matt Patricia in DetroitIn Green Bay, personal fouls remained an issue. Matt Patricia keeps preaching it, yet the Lions keep struggling with the penalties more than everyone in the league except Arizona, next week’s opponent. Against Green Bay, the defensive backs were especially prone to grabbing and holding, and flagged accordingly.mlive.com
Quick observations: Lions regime heading for dangerous territory after 11th straight loss
The Detroit Lions aren’t even getting creative with how they lose anymore. Now Detroit has lost eight straight games against the division, 11 games overall, and this regime is fast-approaching a crossroads. They didn’t hit Rodgers a single time until the second half, after hitting Mitchell Trubisky just four times all last week. Aaron Jones led the way with 168 yards on 18 carries, 75 of which came on that long touchdown run to open the second half. -- The Lions continued their protests against police brutality for a second straight week.mlive.com
Healthy ace Scherzer pitches Nats past Mets 2-1 for 1st win
Washington Nationals' Max Scherzer (31) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in New York. But he also looked healthy all the while a wonderful sign for the Washington Nationals. Scherzer showed no effects of hamstring trouble, navigating heavy traffic early for his first win this season, and Trea Turner hit a record-breaking leadoff homer to help Washington beat the New York Mets 2-1 on Tuesday night. Scherzer lasted six innings and threw only 45 pitches over his final four to finish with 105. The Mets hadn't announced a starter to replace Michael Wacha, who went on the injured list Sunday with shoulder inflammation.
Juan Soto reinstated from COVID IL, but not in Nats' lineup
WASHINGTON Left fielder Juan Soto was reinstated by the Washington Nationals from the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday after missing the teams first seven games of the season. The Nationals also reinstated right-handed reliever Wander Suero from the IL before Tuesdays game and optioned outfielder Andrew Stevenson to the clubs alternate training site. Only one corresponding move was necessary because the Nationals already had placed reliever Will Harris on the IL last week. During a 3-4 start to the truncated season, the Nationals are averaging 3.4 runs per game and their team OPS is just .704. NOTES: World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg will throw a simulated game Wednesday.
LEADING OFF: Cards, Brews try again after virus postponement
The Cardinals will see if they can begin their series at Milwaukee after St. Louis became the latest team to get shut down by the coronavirus. The Brewers home opener was postponed Friday because two Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19. TV Show suggestions please, tweeted Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who had been scheduled to start. Max Scherzer and the World Series champs wont play again until hosting the New York Mets on Tuesday. San Diegos plus-19 run differential (52 runs scored/33 allowed) is its second best through eight games in team history.
Yanks don't let Nats toot own horn, beat 2019 champions 3-2
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON Gleyber Torres helped the New York Yankees prevent the Washington Nationals from tooting their own horn. Torres had started 2020 by going 0 for 7 before delivering hits in three consecutive at-bats Sunday. But with one out in the seventh, Torres took Corbin deep on a first-pitch fastball to make it 2-1. Honestly, I really dont know what theyre planning on doing with that thing, Martinez said about the trumpet. On Monday, Washington RHP Anbal Snchez faces RHP Trent Thornton.
Could fake meat burgers make cows obsolete?
Brown's Impossible Foods, along with rival Beyond Meat, are two companies at the forefront of the plant meat revolution. Their mimicry of the beef burger includes making their patties "bleed" like beef burgers. They're very wired (to) the idea that they got to have meat," Brown says. He doesn't think it's a binary choice: You either eat animal meat or plant meat. Last year, Missouri became the first state in the United States to pass a law banning meat substitutes from calling the products meat.