Lions rookie CB Ifeatu Melifonwu is returning to practice

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There is some promising news out of Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park as the team returns to practice action following the bye week. Rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu is returning to action in practice on Wednesday in an attempt to come back from his thigh injury.

It’s the first step for Melifonwu to get activated off the injured reserve list. The Lions will have 21 days to either place their third-round rookie on the active roster or lose him to IR for the rest of the year. Melifonwu took over as a starter at outside CB following the injury to Jeff Okudah in Week 1, but the rookie from Syracuse couldn’t finish his first career start.

The Lions also announced that CB and return specialist Corey Ballentine is joining Melifonwu on the practice field and earning the designation to return from IR. Ballentine suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5 and was placed on injured reserve right away.

Melifonwu’s return is a good sign for a secondary that has relied upon undrafted rookies Jerry Jacobs and AJ Parker in starting roles for most of the season. While they’ve fared better than expected, getting Melifonwu back helps build broader experience and depth for 2022 and beyond.

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