Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson getting close to healthy

DETROIT -- Nevin Lawson's rookie season with the Detroit Lions ended with a gruesome foot injury that required almost immediate surgery in North Carolina.

Less than a season later, Lawson is almost back to health as he tries to win the team’s slot cornerback job.

It’s a job Lawson inherited after Bill Bentley went down in the first week of the 2014 season with a torn ACL -- Bentley is also close to being healthy -- and then lost due to injury less than a week later.

“I’ve been doing what I have to do,” Lawson said during the Taste of the Lions event at Ford Field on Tuesday. “I’m not going to get too much into it but I’ve been doing what I have to do. Running and conditioning and so far being able to participate in everything with the team.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but that’s what I’m doing right now.”

Lawson is not sure whether or not he’ll be able to participate in the team’s OTAs when they begin later in May but knows that he is able to run and cut, so it’s a start.

As late as two months ago, Lawson said his right foot still felt a little weird, but the 24-year-old former fourth-round pick said that feeling is gone now. Now he’s back to health and ready to play.

He spent his offseason working out by himself in Miami with a trainer and, for the first time, a physical therapist as he rehabbed his messed-up left foot. He said in November his goal was to be ready for OTAs. He could still do that, but he also knows how far he has come in a somewhat short time, as he wasn’t able to walk well until November.

He also knows the Lions have brought in a plethora of cornerbacks that could compete with him and Bentley in the slot, including veterans Josh Wilson and Chris Owens along with sixth-round draft pick Quandre Diggs. Then there is Rashean Mathis, who could slide inside if need be, and safety Don Carey, who has also played nickel in the past.

There’s not much he can do about that, though. He just needs to make sure he’s healthy and able to be a part of the competition. Until he officially gets on the field, that’s all he could do.

“This is the NFL,” Lawson said. “There’s going to always be competition.”