Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison dealt with knee, calf and groin injuries at points during the 2019 season and the toll of playing hurt left him feeling less than 100 percent certain that he’d be back for the 2020 season.
Harrison said at the end of the regular season that he has too much pride to keep playing “if I can’t be the player I’m used to being” and that he didn’t feel he ever reached top form in 2019 because of the injuries. On Tuesday, Lions head coach Matt Patricia said he hasn’t spoken to Harrison since that point and that’s been by design.
“At the end of the season, I tell all the players, coaches, everybody that’s involved, I just think everyone needs to let the emotion of the season calm down,” Patricia said, via the Detroit News. “Again, it seems crazy, but it’s only January. We’re not even into February yet. All that stuff will take care of itself. We’ll handle all that like we normally do, in-house and private conversations between everybody that’s involved.”
Harrison signed a new deal last year that leaves him under contract for 2020 and the Lions have a team option on his contract for 2021. Walking away would give the Lions $6.75 million in cap space, but it seems it will be a little while before they know what the veteran is planning.