Detroit Lions: Darius Slay makes his return to Ford Field

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Detroit Lions star cornerback Darius Slay makes his return to Ford Field Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles march into town with something to prove.

Darius Slay is one of those players that former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia canceled, and I am not quite over it.  Slay often engages with friends, teammates, and fans throughout the various social media sites, and Patricia had something to say when he had a friendly exchange with Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

That’s when the relationship between the two seemed to fray, and although Slay continued to play for the Lions, he grew to have other aspirations for his career.  I get it; imagine your boss trolling your every move and having an issue with a friendly, harmless exchange and then confronting you the way Patricia did with a host of vulgar comments.

Also, the relationship between players and coach had been on the rocks for quite some time, but after trading away safety and player favorite Quandre Diggs for next to nothing didn’t go over well in the locker room.

With Bob Quinn and Patricia, both canned and a new regime in place, things won’t be as explosive, and it will be more like business as usual.

Longtime Detroit Lions star corner Darius Slay returns to Ford Field.

Slay had been a staple in the Detroit community often spent his Friday nights at a local high school game showing his support or showing up on prom night so the students could snap a few pictures with him. Undoubtedly he will be excited to reconnect with many of the roots he put down during his seven-year stint with the Detroit Lions.

During those seven seasons, Slay managed three Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro in 2017 after leading the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defended on the season.

The 30-year old has proved he’s still got a lot left in the tank.  After signing a three-year $50-million extension with the Eagles, Slay is performing like his old self.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription), he’s earned a stellar overall grade of 78, including a coverage mark of 77.9, his best mark since 2018.  He’s totaled 491 defensive snaps in ’21 and has allowed just 174 receiving yards on 24 grabs; Slay has also come away with two interceptions.

Slay might be the marquee name Sunday, but there are other ties throughout these two rosters.

Detroit Lions running backs coach Duce Staley played seven seasons with the Eagles, plus starting offensive guard Hal Vaitai served as a utility lineman for Philadelphia before the Lions rewarded him with a lucrative contract in free agency.

Offensive line coach Hank Fraley and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp both have Philadelphia roots as well.

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According to WynnBET, the Eagles are 3 point road favorites.  The Under/Over for this one is set at 47.5 with the Moneyline at -170 to the Eagles and +150 to the Detroit Lions.