Detroit Lions: Marvin Hall release another Travis Fulgham misstep?

Marvin Hall, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Marvin Hall, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

If the Detroit Lions waive wide receiver Marvin Hall, will they soon regret it?

The Detroit Lions‘ wide receiver corps has been thin as of late. That due to injury. More specifically, hip injuries. Just last week, the Lions were without the services of both Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola, both struggling with hip issues.

While Amendola is set to make his return this Sunday against the Chicago Bears after being sidelined the past two games, Golladay will miss now his fifth-straight contest. So this would be an odd time to release one of your better receivers. But, apparently, that’s exactly what the Lions are reportedly going to do.

On Friday night it was reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network that the Lions are planning to waive wide receiver, Marvin Hall. The speedster is the biggest deep threat Detroit currently has outside of Golladay. So it’s a puzzling move, if true.

The 27-year old Hall leads the Lions averaging 17.1 yards per catch. On the year so far he’s posted 17 receptions for 290 yards and two touchdowns while playing in all 11 games for Detroit.

In Week Eight against the Indianapolis Colts, Hall went over the century mark for the first time in his four-year career. He recorded four receptions for 113 yards in the 41-21 home loss. Following that game, Hall has seen a dramatic uptick in snaps.

Over his first six games this season, Hall played in only an average of 18% of the Lions’ offensive snaps. Those opportunities have skyrocketed to an average of 66.4% over his last five contests.

The other question to ponder here is who exactly decided to make this reported move? Both head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn were fired last Saturday. So as interim head coach and offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell would seemingly be the potential culprit here. And as OC, he surely has his reasons.

One of those reasons could be Hall’s catch percentage. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound speedster has been targeted 30 times this season, the fourth-highest among the team’s wide receivers. Bringing in just 17 of those targets gives him a catch rate of 56.7%, one of the lowest on the team. Hall’s also had four drops this season, that according to Pro Football Reference.

The Lions would be moving on from Hall presumably to give others more opportunities to shine. If he’s released soon, those who stand to benefit from his absence figure to be players like rookie Quintez Cephus, cornerback turned wideout Jamal Agnew and the newly signed Mohamed Sanu. Detroit could also decide to call up one of their receivers on the practice squad like Tom Kennedy.

For fans of Hall, the biggest fear is the Lions releasing yet another receiver and them ending up having success elsewhere due to Detroit’s lack of proper talent evaluation or improper usage of the player while in Motown. The latest stinging example being Travis Fulgham.

The Lions drafted Fulgham in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Old Dominion. As a rookie, Fulgham spent most of his first NFL season on the practice squad. After a December call-up to the active roster, he played three games and was targeted just three times in 63 offensive snaps.

Detroit waived Fulgham in August, presumably to stash him once again on their practice squad. But he was claimed by the Green Bay Packers instead. Fulgham was waived by the Packers nine days later and claimed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

And in Philly, Fulgham has shined. Over his first five games with the Eagles, the 25-year old posted 29 receptions for 435 yards and four touchdowns. While Fulgham has struggled to duplicate that early production as of late, that’s likely more a function of Philadelphia’s poor offense rather than the second-year receiver’s abilities.

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For fans of the Detroit Lions, the reported upcoming release of Marvin Hall could easily turn into the next Travis Fulgham misstep for their franchise. And all they can do is sit back and watch another team benefit from another player the Lions failed to find ways to make successful while in the Motor City.