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Lions first-rounder Penei Sewell tests positive for COVID-19, will miss rookie minicamp

·2-min read

Penei Sewell will have to wait a while before his Detroit Lions career can really begin.

The seventh overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft announced Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend, which means he will almost certainly miss the Lions' rookie minicamp.

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Detroit's minicamp is scheduled for Friday through Sunday. That's too soon to expect Sewell's participation, per MLive.

Penei Sewell's badly timed COVID-19 diagnosis

Sewell's next chance at playing with his new teammates might be at Detroit's OTA workouts, the first of which begins May 25. But the NFLPA announced last month that Lions players will skip the voluntary workouts due to concerns about COVID-19 safety. (The Detroit Free Press reported last week that players may still show up.)

The Lions' mandatory minicamp will begin June 8.

Sewell having to wait an extra month to make his on-field debut with the team that drafted him isn't ideal. Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm had Sewell ranked as the top offensive lineman in the draft, but noted that the 20-year-old Sewell is young even among draft prospects and hasn't played in a game since the 2020 Rose Bowl after opting out of last season.

Add in the fact that Sewell is expected to be playing a new position this season — he was a left tackle at Oregon, but will play right tackle with the Lions due to the presence of Taylor Decker — and you have to imagine the Lions aren't too thrilled with losing reps for their top 10 pick.

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