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Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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    With gritty play, cornerback A.J. Parker making an impact with Lions


    Allen Park — Seemingly every year, there’s an undrafted free agent who comes out of nowhere to make the Detroit Lions’ roster with a strong performance through training camp and the preseason. 

    But at this point, cornerback A.J. Parker isn’t really sneaking up on anyone. The Kansas State product has been mixed in with the first-team defense for more than a week, and got the call as the starting nickelback when the team traveled to Pittsburgh for a preseason contest with the Steelers on Sunday. 

    More importantly, he delivered on the opportunity.  Playing 30 defensive snaps, he recorded eight tackles without a whiff. In coverage, he was targeted seven times, giving up five receptions, but for a paltry 16 yards, while also breaking up a throw. 

    Defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant said from the time he first laid eyes on Parker, he’s loved the cornerback’s grit, toughness and versatility, which includes the ability to contribute on multiple special teams. 



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