By: Will Burchfield
A year after declaring the Lions would never sign a player with a history of domestic violence, Bob Quinn took a stand for Joe Mixon, the Oklahoma running back who punched a woman in the face last December.
As a result of the incident, Mixon was not invited to the ongoing NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“I think it’s really disappointing that Joe’s not here,” the Lions GM said on Wednesday. “We come here to see the best college football players in the (country), there’s 330, 340-some-odd players here and for him not to be here, because of those issues, personally I don’t think that’s real fair.
“We have a lot of investigations that we want to do on him, to get him in one spot for all the teams would have been great.”
Baylor wide receiver Ishmael Zamora, who was caught on tape beating a dog, was also denied an invitation to the combine.
“I’m not part of those decisions about how guys are chosen, but I think it is a disappointment that guys like (Mixon) – and there’s a few others you can put in that category – we’re going to be chasing around in the months of March and April,” Quinn said. “Really unfair to the players, to be honest with you.”
In 12 games for the Sooners last season, Mixon ran for 10 touchdowns and over 1,200 yards, averaging nearly seven yards per carry. He also caught 37 passes, five of which went for touchdowns.
Given his impressive numbers and the Lions’ need for more talent in the backfield, Mixon remains on the Lions’ draft board.
“We’re going to leave the door open on Joe,” Quinn said. “I’d like to be able to get a chance to sit down with the people that know Joe – or Joe – and kind of see what the circumstances were around the incident.”
Upon being hired in January of 2016, Quinn told reporters he would have “zero tolerance” for players with a history of domestic violence or dangerous weapons, a statement he would come to regret later that year when he signed two players who violated the latter condition.