5 players to watch in the Detroit Lions preseason finale
4. WR/KR Maurice Alexander
Alexander finally got a shot this year, in the USFL with the Philadelphia Stars. He made the most of it , as he was that league’s leading kickoff returner (787 total yards; with a 31.5 yard average). The Lions signed him in early August, and he got noticed by reporters on-site during practice as a kickoff returner.
Alexander had return duties (kickoff and punt) to himself in the second preseason game against Indianapolis. He most notably totaled 152 yards on four kickoff returns, with a long of 61 yards, along with three receptions for 18 yards.
It’s unclear how many wide receivers the Lions will keep on the 53-man roster, six seems most likely but seven is possible, and Campbell was clear special teams will be a deciding factor in determining the final few roster spots. Alexander fits that final note, though his contribution beyond the return game feels iffy.
Godwin Igwebuike has been tabbed as the Lions’ kickoff returner “right now” by Campbell, though the head coach noted someone could catch their eye and change that.
Alexander surely did enough against the Colts to be eye-catching. Sunday’s game against the Steelers is lined up to be another opportunity for him to do so, and perhaps secure a quick opportunity elsewhere if the Lions don’t keep him.