Excitement Brews as Detroit Lions Sign Defensive Lineman DJ Reader for NFL 2024 Season

Having the second-best defense in the NFL the previous season, the Detroit Lions are preparing for much greater success in 2024. They signed veteran Cincinnati Bengals lineman DJ Reader on Thursday. Their fourth major defensive addition of the offseason will come from the two-year contract they signed with the free agency.

Reader, who stands 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 335 pounds, was regarded as one of the best run-stoppers available in the free agency market. He should fit in well with the Lions’ defensive line anchor, Alim McNeill, this fall.

Reader told reporters on Thursday that he was excited and that sometimes things just don’t work out and you have to move on. A better opportunity that I genuinely feel fits is something I’m enthused about.”

Reader had 34 tackles and one sack in the previous campaign, but his season was cut short by a torn quadriceps tendon in his right leg. In addition, he missed six games in 2022 due to a knee ailment and missed games in 2020 because of a torn left quad.

As July approaches and he approaches his 30th birthday, Reader feels “slightly ahead” in his recuperation from his first quad injury. He is committed to getting back to his best on the field, and he is working hard to be ready for the start of the regular season. When the games start, his proactive demeanor demonstrates his commitment to overcome obstacles and making a substantial contribution to his team’s success.

“I believe that my body simply needs to be aware of the current situation. It really simplifies things for me,” he remarked. “After that, where am I mentally? The previous time, we were in the middle of COVID. It was a gloomy time not just for myself but for the entire world as well. We were unaware of the situation.”

“So it’s been considerably livelier this time around. With my family at my side, everything is going great, and I just need to pay—I know how it will feel and how that feels. My body is far more conscious of everything going on around it, including the kind of reaction I’m displaying. Thus, while it’s not an easy task—in fact, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done—I think it’s positive to see daily development, and I’m content with my current situation.”

Following his most recent quad injury, Reader had his greatest season yet, recording 43 tackles and two sacks while helping the Bengals win the Super Bowl.

After finishing 12-5 and making it to the NFC Championship game, the Lions made it their mission to strengthen their defense going into free agency. Three starting players up front—McNeill, A’Shawn Robinson, and John Penisini—were re-signed; however, Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris were allowed to test the market as free agents, and Austin Bryant, a restricted free agent, was not offered a contract.

In addition, they re-signed cornerback Amani Oruwariye, acquired cornerback Carlton Davis through trade, and added defensive end Markus Davenport via free agency.

The reader stated, “I think they’re ahead of where I was when I got (to Cincinnati),” Reader stated. “I told them that they have the same taste as me and are ahead of the curve. I watched the Super Bowl. Everyone in this place feels that way about them, even though they made it to the NFC Championship and lost. Go wash their mouth of the taste. And I’m looking forward to it. You don’t have time to fix those errors, and since this is my chance, I won’t blow it. I can go through a wall at this moment. It doesn’t seem like we’ll enter there and treat our duties as a team lightly.”

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