LIONS INSIDER

Lions expect Nevin Lawson back 'at some point' this offseason

Posted Jan 18, 2015

Cornerback Nevin Lawson could be in the mix for the starting nickel cornerback spot if he's able to return to 100 percent health this offseason.

Nevin Lawson knew something was seriously wrong after injuring his foot while blocking for a punt return in the third quarter of Detroit's Week 2 loss in Carolina back in September.

"One section of my foot was basically dislocated so there was a knot in the middle of the foot," Lawson said of the injury in November.

Nevin LawsonCB Nevin Lawson (Photo: AP Images)

He had just replaced Bill Bentley as the Lions' nickel cornerback after Bentley was lost for the season to a torn ACL in Week 1. Lawson had to have surgery in Carolina and was placed on injured reserve shortly after, but is expected to be back at some point this offseason.

“I had never seen that injury he had in the 20-plus years I’ve been around the NFL, so that’s a difficult one to gauge,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said in his postseason press conference. “We do expect him back at some point this offseason and expect him to be able to compete during training camp.”

Lawson, a fourth-round pick in last year’s draft, could be in the mix for the starting nickel cornerback spot if he's able to return to 100 percent health this offseason. He's a feisty cornerback whose skills fit the slot.

“Nevin got off to kind of a slow start but picked it up,” Mayhew told detroitlions.com. "This guy is tenacious. He’s aggressive. He’s physical at the line. Almost too physical. We have to tone him down in terms of grabbing and stuff like that at the line of scrimmage.

“But this guy has something to him. He’s got some toughness and some competitiveness to him that we really like.”

Bentley has been the team's starting nickel cornerback the last few seasons when healthy, but staying healthy has been a big issue for him. He's entering the last year of his rookie contract in 2015.

Cassius Vaughn, who played the nickel most of last season after Bentley and Lawson went down with injury, is an unrestricted free agent.

The Lions are likely to add a cornerback or two to the roster this offseason via free agency or the draft, but they like what they saw from Lawson early on, and he’ll be in the mix for an increased role in 2015 if healthy.