LIONS INSIDER

Twentyman: Rookie CB Chris Greenwood is eager for the chance to prove himself

Posted Oct 10, 2012

The Lions’ fifth-round draft pick pick out of Albion this year could get his chance soon, as he’s eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list as early as Monday.

Like any NFL rookie, cornerback Chris Greenwood desperately wants a chance to prove himself on the field and earn his keep. Unfortunately, abdominal surgery back in May hasn’t given him the opportunity to do that.

“I think that’s for everybody,” Greenwood said when asked this week if he has something to prove. “Whether you’re first round or undrafted I feel like you have something to prove. None of us have been here before and we want to show that we belong.”

Maybe more so for Greenwood, who hasn’t been able to contribute on the field since OTAs this offseason. It was during that time when he made a break on a ball and tore an abdominal muscle.

The Lions’ fifth-round draft pick pick out of Albion this year could get his chance soon, as he’s eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list as early as Monday.

The Lions like Greenwood’s combination of size (6-1, 193) and speed, but need to see their rookie cornerback on the practice field before they’ll know if he can help them this year or not.

“We liked him an awful lot in the draft and he did a nice job in our OTAs,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Greenwood. “He’s long, he’s got long arms, and he’s tall; a little different than a lot of other corners. He’s a smart football player.

“He’s another guy that’s worked extremely hard, not just on conditioning and things like that. He’s worked hard in the meeting room to learn the scheme and to understand, see the game through the guys who have played it. We’ve seen all that. He looks like he’s going to be a smart football player. We just need to get him back on the field. Once we do, then we can evaluate. But we’ll see where he gets to when he’s eligible to get taken off.”

Following the Lions’ game in Philadelphia, Sunday, a 21-day window opens during which Greenwood can return to practice while not counting against the 53-man roster. So the earliest he could begin practicing is Oct. 15 and the latest Nov. 1.

As soon as he starts practicing, a second 21-day window opens at which point he must be activated to the 53-man roster, or be ineligible to play for the rest of the year. So the earliest he could play in a game could be Week 7 in Chicago. The latest would be Week 13 at home against the Colts.

Either way, Greenwood thinks he can be ready whenever his number is called. He said he doesn’t feel like he’s too far behind - despite missing the last five months - because he’s continued to take mental reps.

“(The injury) gave me a little bit more time to get adjusted and get used to the terminology and stuff like that,” he said.

"Whatever they ask me to do I’m certainly going to give my all at.”