The Detroit Lions are lined up to win more games this season, and these three players who are not starters will be important to it happening.
The Lions certainly have better roster depth than they did a year ago. That fostered competition during OTAs, which will carry into and right through training camp with HBO’s “Hard Knocks” on location. But whoever doesn’t win starting jobs heading into Week 1 will fall into becoming good depth in case of injuries, underperformance, etc.
On that note, here are the three most important players for the Detroit Lions in 2022 who are not starters.
The 3 most important non-starters on the Detroit Lions
3. WR Kalif Raymond
Raymond stepped into a bigger opportunity by default last year, as the Lions cut Breshad Perriman before the season and Tyrell Williams was injured in Week 1. He delivered career-best receiving numbers (48 receptions for 576 yards and four touchdowns), while averaging 11.2 yards per punt return.
Raymond has been bumped down the pecking order with the additions of DJ Chark and Jameson Williams (when he’s healthy), and Josh Reynolds will be around all season. But his role as the Lions’ primary punt returner isn’t going away, barring a shocking development where undrafted rookie Kalil Pimpleton clearly beats him out for what would be the same role/roster spot, and his role in the offense could be sneaky important.
Raymond will be easily forgotten heading into this year. But his importance shouldn’t be overlooked.