The Detroit Lions were lucky to have offensive tackle Penei Sewell fall to them in the 2021 NFL Draft, but the start of his professional career is going to have to be put on hold a little bit longer.
Sewell has tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, will not be able to attend Detroit’s rookie minicamp this week. The lineman revealed the news on his Twitter account, and said that he was very disappointed to have to miss camp, but he would be focusing on getting healthy so he could make his return to Detroit later on.
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Found out this past weekend I tested positive for COVID. Really wish I was heading to my new home today and able to be at mini-camp with my new teammates and coaches. Look forward to getting out to the D as soon as I’m cleared!
— Penei Sewell (@peneisewell58) May 12, 2021
Obviously, the timing is not ideal for the Lions, as they were hoping to get a first look at Sewell this weekend during their rookie minicamp. The good news? Sewell missing this time won’t be the end of the world, and he can ease his way back before the rest of the offseason program, but it is more a frustration for the Lions, who will now have to work to get Sewell up to speed virtually a little bit longer when they were counting on in-person instruction.
Lions Rookie Minicamp Begins Friday
The Lions will be getting their class into the fold this week even as Sewell cannot attend thanks to the virus. Everyone in the class from the rest of the selections to the undrafted free agents will be making their way to Detroit to do some on-field work. It will be held from May 14-16, and during that time, the Lions will be able to have all their young players in the mix to get them into their program and gain valuable reps at the position as well as learn their new team’s playbook. After that point, the Lions as a group will reconvene for OTA’s, but the players are likely to stay virtual at that point instead of getting together as a group in Detroit.
Sewell’s Stats and Highlights
The tackle from Oregon is a mountain of a man and someone who isn’t easily moved up front. Sewell excels as not only a pass blocker but a run blocker, and is as close to complete of an offensive lineman as there has been in the draft lately. While playing for the Ducks, Sewell became the 2019 Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s best offensive lineman and also was a Unanimous All-American and first-team All-PAC 12 player. Though he sat out 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it did little to dampen his stock as a top pick this April.
Sewell’s tape shows a player who can protect as well as move people up front, a deadly combination for the NFL.
At this point, the biggest hope for Sewell is he gets back to feeling healthy and ready to go in a few more weeks time and can emerge from this early career setback stronger.
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