Detroit Lions’ Penei Sewell out for rookie minicamp with positive COVID-19 test

First-round pick Penei Sewell will not join the rest of the Detroit Lions’ rookie class for the start of rookie minicamp this week.

Sewell announced Wednesday on Twitter that he recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“Found out this past weekend I tested positive for COVID,” Sewell wrote. “Really wish I was heading to my new home today and able to be at mini-camp with my new teammates and coaches. Look forward to getting out to the D as soon as I’m cleared!”

The NFL reinstated in-season COVID-19 protocols for the start of voluntary workouts, meaning Sewell is subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

The Lions hold rookie minicamp Friday-Sunday, with rookies due to report Thursday.

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Offensive tackle Penei Sewell with Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes, left, and head coach Dan Campbell right, May 1, 2021.

Sewell is expected to start at right tackle for the Lions this fall, on a line that also includes Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson. Either Tyrell Crosby or Halapoulivaati Vaitai will start at the fifth offensive line spot.

A two-year starter at Oregon, Sewell has not played a snap since the 2019 season after opting out of last year’s COVID-shortened season.

He said in his introductory news conference on Day 3 of the draft that “it was tough” to sit out last fall and he was anxious to return to action.

“When I was watching everybody, I wrote down in my notes that the next time I get to step in the field of play that I’m going to make the most of it,” Sewell said. “And that everybody will feel my passion and my heart the next time I step in between those lines because, man, it was hard. To see especially (my) little bro out there, and for me to not really go out there and share that moment with him, it was difficult. So, I wrote down in my notes that, man, I’m sitting out for a reason. I’m coming out with a purpose and I’m going to make the most of it the next time I get my chance.”

The Lions had 10 players miss practice or game time last season due to COVID-19 protocols, including quarterback Matthew Stafford and safety Jalen Elliott on two separate occasions. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell and four assistant coaches also missed the Lions’ December game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after defensive line coach Bo Davis tested positive for COVID-19.

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