Thus far in training camp, health has been a big plus for the Detroit Lions, but the team is dealing with a minor issue for one of their most important young players for 2021.
As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press pointed out after Dan Campbell’s media availability on Tuesday, August 3, linebacker Derrick Barnes is dealing with a hamstring issue that has held him back early in camp. It’s As a result, he was only slated to do walkthroughs on Tuesday while the rest of the team was starting out in pads for the first time in camp practice.
There’s good news on the injury, though. According to Campbell during his Tuesday morning press conference, the ailment isn’t a serious one, even if it’s something to watch early on that the team is electing to play it safe with.
The Lions don’t want to see such an injury get worse, so it makes sense to take things slow with Barnes and make sure he is completely healthy before putting him on the field.
Barnes Has Strong Fit Within Crowded Linebacker Room
It’s tough for Barnes to lose any time early on because he is trying to carve out a role for the team at linebacker. The Lions are in-flux at the position and looking for difference makers to step up and provide some depth for a group that has struggled the last few years on the field. When Detroit nabbed Barnes in the fourth-round of the draft, it made sense due to the immense need at the position. Along with names like Jahlani Tavai, Romeo Okwara, Trey Flowers, Alex Anzalone and Jamie Collins, Barnes is looking to come in and provide some depth as a playmaker, thumper and rusher at the spot.
It’s clear the sooner he can get on the field, the better it will be. That’s true both for the Lions and for Barnes himself.
Barnes’ Stats and Highlights
When Barnes does get on the field, what will the team be getting? Based on his track record from college, a pretty productive player. Barnes has been a productive player in the Big Ten, racking up 226 tackles, 25 tackles for-loss, 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 interception in his college career. The numbers paint the picture of a tackling machine and a guy who can get after it in between the lines and make big plays for a defense sideline to sideline. It will depend on how Detroit wants to use Barnes, but the talent is there.
Here’s a look at what the highlights show:
Will Barnes become a guy who turns himself into a player like either Junior Seau, Ray Lewis or another successful NFL linebacker? That remains to be seen, but it’s clear he understands how he wants to play the position when he comes to the league. That could lead to him playing a big role when the 2021 season kicks off.
First, he will have to shake the minor injury bug early on during camp.
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