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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

Dan Campbell responds to Lions’ unusual retirements

Dan Campbell on the field

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions have been hit by a series of premature retirements during preseason, leading some to question what is going on within the organization.

Cornerback Jermaine Waller, nose tackle John Penisini, and receiver Corey Sutton are among the Lions players who announced their retirements in recent weeks. None of the three players are over the age of 24, which further raised eyebrows. A fourth player, Tyrell Crosby, accused the Lions of mishandling an injury and not caring about players. Crosby spent three seasons with Detroit before being released in August 2021.

On Monday, coach Dan Campbell was asked if there was a pattern to these early retirements. The coach said the decisions were not “just about football” and that the NFL is “not for everybody.”

Campbell’s comments probably won’t make the questions go away. That’s especially true after what Crosby said, particularly when the organization has been accused of mishandling injuries before.

Campbell has won a lot of plaudits for his style of coaching in Detroit, and has come across as people-oriented even when making tough decisions. This issue certainly raises doubts for some, even if there is ultimately nothing to it.

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