The big sports news after a slow Christmas Day from the NBA is that the Detroit Lions have signed an American rugby player named Carlin Isles to their practice squad.
Carlin is a member of the USA Sevens team and has been clocked at running a 4.22 40-yard dash. That’s .02 seconds faster than Chris Johnson, the man with the fastest 40 time in NFL Combine history.
It’s hard to comprehend just how that translates to the field without seeing the highlight reel above. The kid can flat out run. But how will he do on the football field where flat-out speed isn’t as valuable as it is on a 7 vs. 7 rugby pitch where space is easier to come by?
Likely we won’t see, because this is a move to get media attention.
Today Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has been quoted as saying, “You’re looking for athletes. It hasn’t been unusual to see basketball players transition to the NFL, and it’s not just recently; that goes way back.”