Amani Oruwariye Battles for his Spot


Amani Oruwariye is a name that’s been talked about a lot since Dan Campbell benched him in the Week 5 matchup with the New England Patriots. The cornerback has had a few rough games this season, however, the coaching staff is still confident in him.

The decision to make Oruwariye inactive in the game verse the Patriots came shortly after he was blamed for six penalty calls in Week 3. Coach Campbell said the change had to be made, but it’s not set in stone.

“With where we were at, I mean we were last in the League by a long shot and we felt like majority of the issues that were popping up were on the back-end. It just – we needed to do that. We needed to shake things up, and so – but just like I told him this doesn’t mean this is over. We’re not just discarding Amani, I mean he’s going to have a shot.”

Oruwariye was a star last season, leading the team with six interceptions on the year. However, that hasn’t been the case this season. He is struggling to find his groove and really pop-off. In just three games played, he’s allowed 13 receptions for 202 yards. According to Pro Football Reference, he’s tied for third in the NFL for penalties committed.

Not A Set-Back

The cornerback was frustrated by not only the penalties called against him, but again by the decision to bench him in Week 5. During the game against New England, five defensive backs suffered injuries. Because he was benched, he couldn’t do anything to help.

“It hurt me to my core that I was healthy and wasn’t able to go out there and do anything.”

Coach Campbell said Monday that Oruwariye will have a chance to earn his spot in this week’s game in Dallas.

“Amani’s going to get a chance to compete. I mean he’s – I told him he’s not out of the boat, so he’s going to get a chance to compete this week and see where he can help us.”

Reporters asked Oruwariye in the locker room Wednesday about his thoughts on the situation. He said all he can do is work hard and be ready to go Sunday if he gets the opportunity.

“This isn’t it for me. Like you said, just a bump in the road. Just adversity. Testing me that you can’t take anything for granted, and that was good. I needed that reflection.”

Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn assured the media on Thursday that he still has major confidence in the player. He thinks Oruwariye has the ability to be one of the best cornerbacks in the League.

“this game is hard especially at that position. And when you look at it over the course of this season, you hear people say setback, I just think he’s had a hard time. I think Amani’s still Amani… I still have high hopes for that player, I still think that player has a chance to be a top corner in this League and we’re going to work our ass off to make sure of that.”

Leadership in Hard Decisions

Coach Glenn spoke highly of Campbell’s ability to make a tough decision like that. He said it was a message that was heard loud and clear by the team.

“I think it’s important that you do that as far as a team because now it sends a message to everybody, offense, defense that man, listen this game is about competing at the highest level every time. And you have to earn your keep in this League. And there’s no free passes and just with Dan (Campbell) being confident to make that decision, I think it really sent the message, I really do.”

The Detroit Lions will head to Dallas for their Week 7 matchup against the Cowboys on Sunday.

Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter

On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr

Photo Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

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