Lions CB Jeff Okudah started the 2021 season with confidence but tore his Achilles tendon in Week 1, which put his plans on hold. Going forward, Okudah hopes to put the injury behind him and believes that better things lie ahead.
“I just had big hopes for that last year,” Okudah said, via DetroitLions.com. “It kind of felt like I was living a nightmare. They just kind of gave me the confidence that you know, the Achilles will be the least of your worries. It will be about getting back mentally and taking care of the rest of your body. For me, that was really reassuring going into the process. I feel like I’ve been hungry like I haven’t eaten in years. That hunger has just been inside of me since the injury. Really, even before the injury, so I’ve had that feeling, man, it’s about to be two years. Just that hunger. So, I’m ready to go out there and just play to the best of my ability.”
Lions HC Dan Campbell said that after observing Okudah this offseason, he doesn’t have any concerns about his ability to move quickly on the football.
“We’re not worried about Jeff’s movement skills,” Campbell said. “Like, he’s going to be able to move. You watch him, with his footwork and the things that he’s doing, he can do all that. That is really important right now, is just continuing his growth mentally and him being able to get the walkthrough reps and just to get the film study. Those things are big for him right now. So, it’s good to have him here, to have him available to do that. When the time’s right, to go full speed when we get him in camp, he’ll be ready.”
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he frequently thinks about retirement to pursue other interests.
“I think about retirement all the time,” said Rodgers, via Dov Kleiman. “When you commit, you’re 100 percent. But the older you get, the interests change, and the grind, I think, wears on you a little more.”
Rodgers added that he can “definitely see the end coming” with his career.
“The football is the easy part,” said Rodgers. “That’s the joy. It’s the other stuff that wears on you and makes you think about life after football. [Tom Brady] obviously sets the bar so high with playing so many years, but I can definitely see the end coming.”
Boyd also commented on why he decided to start raising funds for the families from the Uvalde tragedy.
“I just feel like it’s something I had to do, with me being from Texas and having such a huge platform and being a father, a brother, an older brother to my little sister and my little brother and being an older cousin,” Boyd told The Dallas Morning News. “Just thinking how could it happen? How it had been somewhere like that. It hit close to home like East Texas? It’s heartbreaking. It’s devastating. I feel like no one should have to really go through that. There were a lot of situations where I could have spoken out on. I kind of always liked [being] in the back seat and [not] say anything. For some reason, this is different. It’s like it hit home and like moved me to speak, say something. That’s what I’m doing.”
“This is nothing that we should normalize,” Boyd added. “You got kids no older than 6 to 10 years old and everyone makes a [social media] post then they go back to their day. It’s like something we [shouldn’t] normalize. You feel like we need to do more. We all know what needs to be done, but I’m not really here talking gun laws and politics. But I’m using my platform to help the families’ lives as much as I can [and] give us much at the moment. A lot more needs to be done with everyone as a whole.”