Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Micheal Spurlock (15) returns a kick off during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
For the sake of clarity, Spurlock has to be considered the primary reutrn man for Detroit right now. Jeremy Ross only has one game at the position, and may not even retain it a return role in the future. While Spurlock may not be explosive or exciting, he has broken a couple of decent returns this season, and more importantly, has avoided any big mistakes like, say, downing the ball at the four-yard line.
Spurlock doesn’t have a lot of impact on games because he doesn’t actually get a lot of chances. He has returned only eight kickoffs and 18 punts this season. That said, he had a particularly impactful return against the Bears, in which he returned a punt 57 yards to set up a Lions touchdown. That opened floodgates of scoring for the Lions, who had previously managed only three field goals. Still, that was the only time, in seven games, that Spurlock appeared to do anything remotely special.
Spurlock was sort of an afterthought coming into the season. I’m not sure anyone expected him to be the next Devin Hester, he just needed to be better than Stefan Logan. He’s achieving that simply by not turning the ball over.
Spurlock has drawn some fan ire for being “Logan 2.0,” but he’s not. That’s not to say he’s leaps and bounds better, of course, but he’s a decent specialist. The Lions will need to wait until next season if they want a star return man, but for now, they’ve at least got a guy who can bring it out past the 20. Usually.