Heading into the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, wide receiver Josh Reynolds was easy to point to as a sneaky x-factor for the Detroit Lions. That was intended in a positive light in a game where unsung heroes have to step up, but as is well-known it went the other direction for the receiver Dan Campbell has all kinds of nicknames for.
Reynolds two drops in the second half, the first on one of Campbell's much-derided decisions to go for it on fourth down, were critical mistakes and even one of those catches being made may have led to a Lions' win.
Reynolds struggled for words on Monday. But via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he owned what happened.
"Sh*t happens, man," Reynolds said. "I know what kind of player I am. Didn’t want to drop them. Sh*t happens. I just — do I want those back? Of course, but I can’t and I just got to work this offseason and be prepared for the moment when it comes."
Josh Reynolds ready to move on from rough NFC title game
Some Lions' fans may take issue with Reynolds saying "sh*t happens" regarding his drops against the 49ers, to bolster a case for why he doesn't fit with the team and shouldn't be back next season. But that's reading into his words as if he said "who cares?", which is not the case.
Athletes have to have short memories after bad moments, especially when those bad moments come in big games. Reynolds is ready to learn and move on.
"It’s something you learn throughout the years playing this game cause if you’re sitting here sulking on the bad, it’s hard to have good come out of it," Reynolds said. "Ultimately, you’ve just got to learn from it, take it as a learning lesson, take it on the chin and move on."
Reynolds is set to be a free agent in March. On that front, he said the Lions told him they "want me back." He ingratiated himself with teammates and coaches this season by playing through a torn adductor muscle in his groin and doing the dirty work. That led to him being force-fed passes late in Week 18, to assure he reached one of his contract incentives.
One really bad game, albeit in a very big game, does not erase all the good Reynolds has done over two-plus seasons as a Lion. It'd be surprising if he's not re-signed this offseason, but of course that could change by the time mid-March comes.