Not all of the recent injury-related news is bad for the Detroit Lions. While they work to resolve an issue at backup quarterback following Tom Savage in the preseason opener -- signing veteran journeyman Josh Johnson in the process -- they've gotten some positive news on the defensive front.
When defensive end NFL free agency this offseason, he did so with both sides understanding he'd undergo shoulder surgery, with the hopes of being available for the regular season opener when the team visits the Arizona Cardinals. It was expected Flowers would land on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp, but head coach Matt Patricia avoided nailing down the Week 1 expectation.on the second day of
Flowers has now reportedly been activated from the PUP list, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and will be on the field come Sept. 8 -- barring any new developments.
The 25-year-old inked a five-year, $90 million deal with the Lions after delivering three strong seasons to conclude his rookie deal with the New England Patriots. Flowers was essentially a redshirt in his first year after being selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft -- going on to play in just one game before ending up on injured reserve -- but he delivered 164 combined tackles, 21 sacks, six pass break-ups, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries from 2016 through 2018. He led the Patriots in sacks each of those three seasons, and is easily the biggest free agent acquisition this year for the Lions.
His two Super Bowl rings only serve to increase his value that much further, and considering one of them came under the tutelage of Patricia, the two are anxious to reunite with the hopes of bouncing back from a poor 6-10 finish in Patricia's first year with the team. Flowers joins a defensive line that also includes All-Pro nose tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison, but is also pinning its pass rush hopes on the development of both Romeo Okwara and A'Shawn Robinson.
The experience and talent Flowers brings will help in a variety of ways, and the Cardinals must now plan for him in September.