It’s been a long time coming for the former fifth-round pick out of Albion. Greenwood (6-1, 193) has been plagued by injury his first two years in the league. He missed all of last season with an abdominal injury and was sidelined the first two preseason games this season with a hamstring injury.
But finally, Greenwood got to put on his uniform and run out of the tunnel with his teammates. In the third quarter, he experienced his first NFL action. Greenwood played a total of 16 snaps in the Lions, 40-9, victory.
"It’s my first game back since college, so it was a lot of fun to get back out there," Greenwood said of the experience last week. "It was just exciting. You get that adrenaline rush before the game and I definitely had it."
Last week had to be a thrill for Greenwood and his family, but with the excitement of his first NFL game action now behind him, Greenwood has to focus on showing over these next few days that he belongs among the final 53 players to make the team.
That especially goes for Thursday’s preseason finale in Buffalo, where Greenwood is expected to get considerable playing time.
"It’s critical for him," head coach Jim Schwartz said of Thursday’s game for Greenwood. "(A) young player who missed all the season last year, including the preseason. He practiced for a couple weeks during that PUP window, but during the middle of the season it’s hard to really equate that to anything. It’s not a competitive situation.
"He had a nice play breaking up the two-point (vs. New England). He also had another play that he could’ve played a lot better. He needs to be more consistent and the only way he can do that is by getting playing time."
The Lions could have some tough decisions to make when it comes to Greenwood and the final roster.
Physically, he’s one of the more gifted players they have, but the Lions will only have a three-week practice window from last year, one offseason, half of this year's training camp and two preseason games to judge him on.
There may have to be a leap of faith for the Lions.
The numbers could end up being pretty tight at the position with
"I always try to hold myself to a high standard," Greenwood said. "Never really thinking that I’ve played good enough. I’m always working to be better. I’m trying to (standout) every play. I’m trying to get better.
"I know I want to tap into all of my potential and let the coaches see it. I’m just working to get that out."
He’ll have two more practices and one very important preseason game Thursday to let his abilities shine, and show coaches why he’s one of the best 53 players on this team.