One has returned to the team, one has opted out of the season, and two others have been released during a busy week for Detroit Lions wide receivers.
The bottom half of the Detroit Lions‘ receiving corps is already significantly trimmed down, and Matthew Stafford hasn’t even thrown a pass yet (well, other than those spring workouts with teammates that the NFLPA wasn’t exactly thrilled about). Following up Geronimo Allison opting out of the season, the Lions cut receivers Chris Lacy and Travis Fulgham on Sunday as they drop their camp roster down to 80 players.
Thought to be the deepest and most talented position on the roster, receivers seem to be even more expendable than previously thought in Detroit. Reading between the lines here, here are a few places that my mind jumped after seeing which players were cut:
- Maybe this means Jamal Agnew made enough progress in his offseason conversion to receiver to justify eating up that roster spot (while opening an extra one in the defensive backfield).
- Undrafted free agent Hunter Bryant must really be in the mix… or maybe not. I want to believe that he is, but the Lions interestingly have kept all of their UDFAs so far. Don’t read too much into that as far as Bryant is concerned.
- For the second week in a row, fifth round draft pick Quintez Cephus can sit back and watch another one of his competitors drop out of the race. Basically by default, Cephus now seemingly has a firm hold on either the number four or five WR spot on my theoretical depth chart, with only Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr, and Danny Amendola clearly ahead of him.
My Projected Wide Receiver Depth Chart – Update
- Kenny Golladay
- Marvin Jones Jr.
- Danny Amendola
- Marvin Hall
- Quintez Cephus
- Jamal Agnew (active roster cutoff)
- Geremy Davis
- Hunter Bryant (or third on TE depth chart)
- Victor Bolden
- Tom Kennedy
This marks the end of my “Travis Fulgham Dark Horse” campaign
Just as much as the next sports fan (okay, probably a lot more), I like to incessantly remind people that they “heard it here first” if I happen to pick up on a breakout star a little sooner than others (see: Kenny Golladay, 2017). Travis Fulgham was my guy following the 2019 draft. Fulgham was a late bloomer from a mid-major college, showed up huge in an upset win over regional powerhouse Virginia Tech, and I held out some hope that a Golladay-like ascension was possible for him as well.
With all these roster shuffles, do the Detroit Lions have a breakout receiver in hiding?
As I examined the Lions rebuilt offense at the start of last year, Fulgham was my vote for the team’s “Breakout Star in Hiding”. He was uneven in preseason games, but was one of the final players to make the opening day roster, and appeared in three regular season games with no catches. I still held out hope that Fulgham could make the famous “leap” in year two. As his release shows though, if that happens, it won’t be in Detroit. Quintez Cephus and Hunter Bryant should be licking their chops.
Lions COVID-19 list (update)
After a quick spell on the COVID-19 inactive list, star receiver Kenny Golladay was activated last week, continuing a trend of players returning after a short spell on the list so far. Golladay’s clearance comes as even better news, as Matthew Stafford was also cleared with what was deemed a “false positive” test, putting the dynamic offensive duo back together, just in case training camp does indeed start on schedule.
- WR-Kenny Golladay (activated)
- QB- Matthew Stafford (activated)
- TE- T.J. Hockenson (activated)
- CB- Justin Coleman (activated)
- TE- Isaac Nauta (activated)
- P- Arryn Siposs (activated)
- CB- Amani Oruwariye (activated)
- S- Jalen Elliott
Golladay was the only wide receiver on there, but the Lions got plenty of good news from their other positions towards the end of last week in this area as well. Out of the eight players originally placed on this new specialized inactive list, seven of them have been cleared already to return to the team.