Lions GM Brad Holmes downplays the 2nd-round injury risks he's taken

Through two draft seasons as the general manager of the Detroit Lions, Brad Holmes has not shied away from taking chances on players carrying injury baggage.

That’s especially true in the second round.

In 2021, Holmes and the Lions selected DL Levi Onwuzurike from Washington. This year it was Kentucky DE Josh Paschal.

Both brought unclean bills of health from college through the draft process.

Onwuzurike had an ongoing back problem while Paschal, who also missed most of a season conquering cancer on his foot, missed the end of his senior season and the Senior Bowl with a groin injury.

The injuries have lingered. Onwuzurike was ineffective as a rookie and has been able to practice exactly one day in pads in 2022 before reaggravating the injury.

He’s on the 53-man roster but unlikely to play Week 1 with what head coach Dan Campbell termed a “snail’s pace” recovery.

Paschal is on the reserve/PUP list, missing his entire rookie training camp and preseason. His injury required core muscle surgery and his return to the field is unknown.

In his press conference on Thursday, Holmes was asked if the Lions held a flawed injury evaluation process with the second-rounders.