The Detroit Lions had been waiting for someone to assert themselves at receiver, and Antoine Green delivered at the right moment.
With final roster cuts due Tuesday, Green saved his best for last, rattling off 97 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in a 26-17 win in preseason finale. It was a significant performance for the rookie.
At the end of the first half, Green got loose, turned on the jets and showed why the Lions took a gamble on him with a seventh-round pick.
This offseason, the Lions were seeking statements at wide receiver. They saw a steady camp from Dylan Drummond, who was reportedly waived on Monday. Chase Cota also delivered sporadically in practice and the preseason.
Neither of those players has seemed to offer the same game-changing explosive upside that Green does.
While playing for North Carolina, Green was accustomed to such plays. He could get behind a defense, using speed to deliver critical touchdowns. In the NFL, that's the same potential Green offers the Lions that makes him a wild card for the offense.
Lions should gamble on Antonie Green after offseason progress
While the Lions could still add a veteran wide receiver, Green delivering in the preseason finale was a statement to Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell.
That play, along with Green's other preseason receptions, show the receiver's progress. Earlier this offseason, Campbell admitted to the media he would describe Green as mostly inconsistent in camp:
"I would say inconsistent. Man, he does some things. They really show and then there, it just dips. There again, he's a young player. Does some things that really catch your eye and then some things the opposite way, so he's inconsistent right now and the more that he can lessen the inconsistency, the better off he's going to be. That's part of what camp is for him."- Dan Campbell
Green's big game could prove to be more than lightning in a bottle. His development from early in camp to now shows his potential.