Detroit Lions Sign Safety Tyrell Johnson

By Chris Katje
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions had a huge letdown in Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Part of the reason the Lions lost was a lack of coverage on big offensive plays from the Colts. The Lions made a move today in an attempt to strengthen the secondary and stop big plays from opposing teams.

The Lions signed free agent safety Tyrell Johnson today. Johnson was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Johnson played with the Vikings from 2008-2011. In his rookie 2008 season, Johnson played in all sixteen games. The former Viking recorded 24 tackles, one fumble recovery and an interception.  The next season, Johnson had 48 tackles, a fumble recovery, one interception and seven pass deflections in 15 games played.

Johnson attended Arkansas State, where he was a starter for four seasons. Johnson was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Sun Belt Conference in his senior season. In his 2007 senior season, Johnson also had 94 tackles and six interceptions. Johnson still holds a Sun Belt record with 363 tackles.

Johnson played a total of 49 games with the Vikings. The Miami Dolphins signed Tyrell prior to the 2012 NFL season, but he was cut by the team before the season began. Johnson worked out with the Lions earlier this year, but was not signed. The Lions cut veteran safety Erik Coleman to make room for Johnson on the roster.

The Vikings moved up in the draft to take the Arkansas State safety. Johnson started 27 of the 49 games played with Minnesota. Perhaps a change of scenery and opportunity with Detroit will resurrect this college standout’s career.

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