Detroit Lions CB Emmanuel Moseley: 'I'll be out there soon'
When organized team activities ended in mid-June, Emmanuel Moseley looked like a sure bet to be ready for the start of training camp. Now two weeks into camp, there's no guarantee he'll be ready for the start of the regular season.
Moseley made his first public appearance of the summer at Detroit Lions practice Saturday, watching his teammates go through drills from the sideline with a compression sleeve on his left leg.
He reported late for camp after undergoing what a team source described as a clean-up procedure on the ACL he tore last fall, and declined to share details of that procedure or put a timetable on his return Saturday. The Lions placed Moseley on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday.
"I’m feeling good," Moseley told a small group of reporters after practice. "I just needed a little bit more time, etc., but yeah, I’m feeling pretty good."
Moseley injured his leg last October, while with the San Francisco 49ers, in a Week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers.
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He said in March he planned to be ready for the start of the regular season, and appeared to be tracking that way this spring when he was an active participant in walk-through drills at Lions practice.
But Moseley did not report on time for training camp, and while his absence was excused, Lions coach Dan Campbell indicated it was unexpected.
"It’s probably going to be a little bit longer than what we hoped for," Campbell said last month.
Moseley, one of the Lions' top free agent additions of the offseason, said it was "disappointing" to miss the start of camp with his new team but that "I trust the process and I know that I’ll be out there soon."
"I don’t want to go deeper into kind of what happened or whatever, but just know right now I’m feeling pretty good," he said. "I’m really, really excited where I’m at right now and I’ll be out there soon."
Asked if he still hopes to be ready for the Lions' season-opener Sept. 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Moseley said, "Like I said, I'm not going to throw no numbers out there or a timeline, but if you see me out, just know I’ll be very excited."
One of three free-agent additions to the Lions secondary, Moseley started all 16 games he played for the 49ers over the past two seasons and is expected to play a key role on the Lions defense this fall.
Cam Sutton, another top free-agent signing, and Jerry Jacobs have taken first-team reps at cornerback all summer, with Will Harris and undrafted rookie Starling Thomas V playing mostly with the second team.
Moseley reported to camp Tuesday after an eight-day absence, but participated in defensive meetings by Zoom while he was away from the team. Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said he was not worried about Moseley falling behind in the Lions playbook or his ability to step in quickly once he returns to the field.
"Obviously, if you’re not practicing, if you’re not actually physically out there, there’s going to be an adjustment," Glenn said. "And once he gets back, I’m sure — because he’s a pro. He’s an absolute pro, so I have no issue with that player understanding exactly what we’re doing. It’s just the fact of getting back there as a defensive back and doing all the movements and things like that to get back in the groove.”
Moseley said he's spent the time since he reported studying the Lions' defensive playbook with coaches. On Saturday, his first day watching practice from the sideline, he said it was "good" to hear the play calls live to refresh his memory.
And though he hasn't been on the field with his new teammates yet, he said he's excited about the defense and what he's seen from the secondary so far.
"We got a lot of playmakers back there, a lot of confident guys," he said. "I think this could be a really good room."
Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.
Matchup: Lions (9-8 in 2022) vs. N.Y. Giants (9-7-1 in 2022), exhibition opener.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday; Ford Field, Detroit.
TV/radio: Fox (Ch. 2 in Detroit); WXYT-FM (97.1).
Regular-season opener: At Kansas City Chiefs, Sept. 7, NBC.CHECK UP:Matchup:Kickoff: TV/radio:Regular-season opener: