The Detroit Lions need Trey Flowers to remain healthy now more than ever

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

With the excess of injuries the Detroit Lions have suffered over the past few weeks, in particular to last seasons team leader in sacks, Romeo Okwara, who is lost for the remainder of the 2021 season with a ruptured Achilles injury, the organization needs Trey Flowers to begin living up to his lucrative contract.

When the Detroit Lions signed Trey Flowers to a massive five-year deal totaling a whopping $90-million, he was widely considered as the top free agent hitting the open market.  Not only did the signing make sense for the Lions because Flowers fit then head coach Matt Patricia’s scheme, but he filled a need as Detroit continued to re-tool their roster.

Needless to say, Flowers has failed to live up to the hype, and the Detroit Lions need the talented edge rusher to start living up to his potential before he becomes the latest Patriot cast away that struggles to find production anywhere other than New England.

Recently the Detroit Lions released linebacker Jamie Collins in an effort to play their more youthful linebackers moving forward.  Collins quickly rejoined the Patriots for his third stint with the club.

When the Detroit Lions signed Flowers, he was never expected to put up gaudy sack numbers; he was never that type of player.

He was expected to be productive in other aspects of the game.  Flowers in the New England scheme, with primarily four down linemen, played with his hand in the dirt, commanded a double team, could take on blockers, contain the ball carrier, and allowed the linebackers a free rush at the quarterback or ball carrier.

Over the past two seasons, Flowers performed well in his role, but again, not very flashy.  According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Flowers earned a stellar 82.8 and 83.3 in each of the past two seasons.

The Detroit Lions need Trey Flowers to step up now more than ever.

So far in 2021 in Detroit’s new defensive scheme under Aaron Glenn sees Flowers and Okwara as standup edge rushers or outside rush backers. Flowers has accumulated eight tackles and just one pressure in 40 defensive snaps before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, posting an overall grade of 73.8, which is the lowest he’s produced since 2017.

Flowers has struggled to remain healthy over the past couple of seasons, and health counts in the NFL.  Being available is a skill.  Last year Flowers’ season ended prematurely due to a broken forearm in Week Eight, and he’s also missed two weeks in 2021 early on with a shoulder injury and a knee issue.

The 28-year old returned to Detroit’s lineup Sunday against the Vikings, and the Lions need him to remain healthy and effective for the remainder of this season.

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Flowers has the opportunity to play a significant role in mentoring the youthful Lions during this extended rebuild, primarily Austin Bryant, Charles Harris, and Julian Okwara.  That trio of players will be asked to step up in Romeo Okwara’s absence for the remainder of the season.