The excitement of the Detroit Lions joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Allen Park on Wednesday was overshadowed by growing injury concerns, particularly within the Lions’ wide receiver room. On a day where fans anticipated seeing QB Trevor Lawrence’s skills on display against a revamped Detroit secondary, they instead watched with bated breath as key players like Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams hobbled off the field.
St. Brown, who suffered a lower right leg injury on the opening snap of seven-on-seven drills, was immediately sidelined after taping his ankle. Although he took a moment to interact with fans post-practice, his noticeable limp raised eyebrows.
Williams’ issue, however, may be a deeper concern. While executing a deep route, he pulled up mid-route and clutched his right hamstring. His swift exit to the locker room may explain the gravity of the situation. This comes after a rookie season that was primarily spent recovering from a college knee injury, and a looming six-game suspension.
Dan Campbell, Lions head coach, emphasized the significance of Williams getting game reps. “The more reps he gets, the more time on task, the more consecutive practices and reps he can put together, he’ll just grow,” stated Campbell in a press conference earlier in training camp. This injury could potentially slow down Williams’ progress.
Lions Receiving Corps: A Glimpse of Concern
These aren’t isolated incidents. The Detroit Lions have been battling injuries among their wide receivers throughout camp. Marvin Jones, Denzel Mims, and Trinity Benson are a few names that have dealt with recent injury setbacks, albeit minor. Rookie Antoine Green and the re-signed Avery Davis have dealt with nagging injuries, as well.
Tom Kennedy and Shane Zylstra suffered season ending injuries earlier in camp.
Yet, there’s a silver lining. The door has swung open for emerging talents like Dylan Drummond and Chase Cota. Drummond’s consistency and Cota’s impressive performance against the Giants only improve their chances to make the final roster.
Joint Practice Offensive Highlights
Despite the injuries, there were positive offensive takeaways from the joint practice:
- Kalif Raymond stood out as the day’s top offensive talent, marking his performance with a stellar 20-25 yard catch in tight coverage early in seven-on-sevens.
- Jahmyr Gibbs showcased his explosion with a dynamic sideline run in seven-on-sevens, leaving all defensive backs trailing. He also executed a flawless dig route at the goal line, culminating in a touchdown.
- Sam LaPorta, making his case as the leading tight end, impressed with a close-range catch near the end zone despite being tightly marked by Devin Lloyd. He later snagged the ball with a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone, capitalizing on a defensive mix-up between Lloyd and Darious Williams.
- Antoine Green showcased refined route running in seven-on-sevens, moving with improved confidence. He was a notable performer in the red zone, securing two touchdowns from Sudfeld. Green’s day also featured an 18-yard catch during the 11-on-11 segment.
- Chase Cota continued his momentum from Friday, scoring a touchdown in seven-on-sevens following a crisp route on the deep ball. He also showcased his ability to run after the catch, when he gained a chunk of yards after a quick pass from Sudfeld.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK