Left a little thin at wide receiver in the wake of Marvin Jones' departure to handle a personal matter, the Detroit Lions acquired Donovan Peoples-Jones from the Cleveland Browns for a 2025 sixth-round pick at the trade deadline. The Detroit native, considered one of the best high school prospects the city has ever produced, was brought back home.
Head coach Dan Campbell revealed the expected plan for the new guy this week-he'll be eased in and things will be taken day-by-day. Peoples-Jones has also been on this week's practice reports with a rib injury, but he should make his Lions' debut Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson spoke to the media for the first time since Peoples-Jones was acquired. What the new Lions' wide receiver brings to the table and how he'll fit in were natural topics.
Ben Johnson thinks Donovan Peoples-Jones will fit nicely in Lions' offense
Here's what Johnson had to say about Peoples-Jones.
"I mean you're talking about 6'2, 210 and can run under a 4.5. So, those guys don't grow on trees, and I think so far what we've seen from him is exactly that," Johnson said of Peoples-Jones. "Really fluid route runner, strong hands, big catch radius and I think he can work both outside and inside."
"And probably, even better than that at least from my perspective, is everyone talks about how smart he is. And so, that's something that we really need in that room. We ask a lot out of our guys lining up in different areas and being very detailed. So, I think he'll fit in really nicely."
Peoples-Jones was strangely a non-factor for the Browns before the trade, with just eight catches for 97 yards despite playing all seven of their games and 83 percent of offensive snaps. He was productive last year, with 61 receptions for 839 yards and three touchdowns as over half of his catches (33) moved the chains.
The Lions are just 24th in the NFL in red zone touchdown proficiency this season. Johnson noted how the 6-foot-2-inch Peoples-Jones could help there (via MLive).
"No question,” Johnson said. “Red zone, he makes some plays down the field and in the open field as well. Looking forward to getting him out there.”
Peoples-Jones is unlikely to play a ton on Sunday against the Chargers, but he may be on the field in some very specific situations as he gets acclimated. Then maybe in his Ford Field debut Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, when he will surely have a lot of friends and family in the crowd, he'll be more fully unleashed.