After Saturday’s preseason win against the Indianapolis Colts there are two under-the-radar players that’ve potentially solidified a spot on the Lions roster.
Starting with “Mr. August” himself wide receiver Tom Kennedy. Head coach Dan Campbell has praised Kennedy as “dependable and very reliable” in both preseason post-game press conferences.
Through two games the former 26 overall selection in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse draft has produced 128 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 13 receptions.
While Kennedy didn’t obtain as much yardage as he did last week, he still found a way to produce.
His two touchdowns came from the 27-26 win over the Colts on Saturday, and both were equally impressive.
The first was the definition of a “Moss,” as he snatched the ball right over the Colts defender with zeros on the clock to end the half. His second was on a free play, due to a defensive offside penalty, in the third quarter.
“We’re trying to give him every opportunity to make this team,” said Campbell. “Because he just won’t go away and that’s a good thing.”
After week one of the preseason Kennedy led the NFL with 104 receiving yards versus Atlanta. Anyone who watched would be able to tell you that he was everywhere and involved in every play.
Even former Cincinnati Bengals star Chad Johnson has been noticing Kennedy’s talent.
The second player that caught a lot of attention, especially in week two, was wide receiver and kick returner Maurice Alexander.
Like Kennedy, Alexander also has an unorthodox path to the league. Following his time at Florida International University, Alexander became a star for the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL.
During his time with the Stars he led the league in kickoff return yards with 787 and brought two back for a touchdown. Because of that he earned an All-USFL honor as a returner.
Kickoff returns were split between three players when the Lions played Atlanta last week, so we didn’t get to see many reps for Alexander.
But in Saturday’s game we exclusively witnessed him as the only kick and punt returner for the Lions. He racked up 152 yards off four kick returns and even took one 61 yards downfield in the second quarter.
While the Colts special teams defense was shaky at best, Alexander still proved that he could take advantage of their poor coverage.
Through both games Alexander also has received four punts, for 32 total yards. The evaluation of him as a kick returner is positive, but as a punt returner not so much.
Overall, both these players have shined enough through camp and the preseason to garner a spot on this Lions roster.
If either of them don’t make the 53-man, they’ll get scooped up by another squad in a heartbeat.