Player News - Lions

Date: Team: Pos:

Matthew Stafford believes WR T.J. Jones could be in for a breakout season.

After playing limited snaps as a rookie, Jones should play a much bigger role in year two as the Lions look to replace top wideout Calvin Johnson. Jones came on strong late last season, logging eight targets against the Rams in Week 14 and later scoring his first touchdown against the 49ers in Week 16. Head coach Jim Caldwell praised Jones for his versatility. "He can catch screens for you. He can take off and go when he gets a seam," said Caldwell. "We really expect him to come forward and be a little bit more of a prominent threat." Jones isn't on the fantasy radar yet but he's trending in the right direction.
Jun 24 - 1:48 PM

Lions.com reporter Tim Twentyman considers DE Devin Taylor a candidate for double-digit sacks this season.

Taylor should be plenty motivated heading into his walk year. He finished second on the team with seven sacks last season and could face a lot of one-on-one blocks with Ziggy Ansah and Haloti Ngata attracting attention on the other side of the line. The 2013 fourth-round pick is slated to begin the year as a starter for the first time in his career.
Jun 24 - 1:13 PM

DetroitLions.com's Tim Twentyman thinks Tahir Whitehead could surpass 100 tackles this season.

The strong favorite for the starting middle linebacker job following the departure of Stephen Tulloch, Whitehead is in a great position to rack up counting stats. A three-down linebacker, he notched 91 tackles in 2014 while filling in for an injured Tulloch for 13 games. He is a solid sleeper in IDP formats.
Jun 24 - 9:26 AM

Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website expects Ameer Abdullah to get "every opportunity" to carry "most of the load" in the Detroit backfield.

Abdullah is still recovering from January shoulder surgery, but he's expected to be ready for the start of training camp. Even without seeing him this spring, Lions beat writers have been talking the sophomore up as a potential breakout candidate. Abdullah averaged a respectable 4.2 YPC as a rookie, but after the Week 9 bye and promotion of OC Jim Bob Cooter, Abdullah averaged 4.7 YPC to finish the year strong. Abdullah is currently being drafted as RB29 in MFL best-ball leagues. He's a strong mid-round flier with upside.
Jun 23 - 9:52 AM

With Calvin Johnson retired, Matthew Stafford expects to "spread the ball around a bunch" this season.

Stafford thinks the absence of a clear No. 1 option like Johnson could actually make things more difficult for opposing defenses. "It’s gonna, I think, be tougher for defenses in a certain way that they don’t know who we’re going to," Stafford said. "A bunch of guys are gonna get a ton of catches and we’re gonna be alright." Free-agent addition Marvin Jones and Golden Tate should take on the majority of Johnson's targets, but the Lions will need people like Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick, and T.J. Jones to step up.
Jun 21 - 11:00 AM

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said third-round C Graham Glasgow "made some strides" during minicamp.

The rookie worked with the third-team offense throughout the spring, but it sounds like he could start to climb the depth chart once training camp opens. "Really, the last week or so he’s really made some strides because we put a lot on the center, a lot like we do on the quarterback," Caldwell said. "That is a lot of information for a young guy to handle, so it takes them a little while." If Glasgow can pick up the offense, he should push incumbent starter Travis Swanson in camp.
Jun 21 - 8:48 AM

ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein believes sophomore RB Zach Zenner has "a good shot" to make the final roster.

Zenner made the roster last season, but multiple broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung landed him on injured reserve after Week 6. He was cleared to resume football activities in January. Zenner will need to beat out George Winn and seventh-rounder Dwayne Washington to secure a roster spot, but that is not a herculean task if he is healthy. Depending on how Stevan Ridley looks, Zenner could even find himself as the "big-back" complement to Ameer Abdullah.
Source: ESPN
Jun 20 - 10:46 AM

The Oakland Press expects rookie DT A'Shawn Robinson to be a Week 1 starter.

Robinson has taken advantage of first-team reps with Tyrunn Walker sidelined. He'll enter camp as the favorite for the three-technique role next to Haloti Ngata.
Jun 18 - 5:01 PM

Lions DT Haloti Ngata said he is feeling like his old self.

Coach Jim Caldwell agreed, saying the staff is "getting a sense" of how good Ngata can be after he was hampered by injuries his first year in Detroit. Even at 32, Ngata has the ability to anchor a defensive line when healthy. The Lions will hope he stays that way this season.
Jun 18 - 11:15 AM

Travis Swanson has been working as the Lions' first-team center throughout the offseason program.

Swanson was a 14-game starter last season, but the Lions brought in stiff competition in the form of third-round pick Graham Glasgow. The rookie was expected to push Swanson right out of the gate, but Glasgow has been working with the third-team offense. Perhaps that changes in training camp, but as of now Swanson appears to be the favorite to start.
Source: MLive.com
Jun 18 - 9:41 AM

Coach Jim Caldwell said "there's not a phase" of the position Lions sixth-round QB Jake Rudock "has under control" after OTAs and minicamp.

Rudock gives Rams QB Sean Mannion a running as the most wasted draft pick of the decade. The rookie has been vastly outplayed by veteran Dan Orlovsky this spring and has virtually no chance to pass him on the depth chart. Rudock spent one year at Michigan but doesn't have an NFL-caliber arm.
Source: MLive.com
Jun 17 - 11:27 AM

Lions undrafted TE Cole Wick has been "the best" of Detroit's UDFA class.

The 22-year-old out of Incarnate Word stands 6'5/256. He ran a sluggish 4.93 forty at his Pro Day, but showed impressive explosion with a 36 1/2" vertical and 10-foot-5 broad jump. Per MLive.com's Kyle Meinke, Wick has gotten "a ton" of reps and "hauled in passes all over the place." After Tim Wright (ACL) landed on injured reserve, Wick has a real chance at a roster spot.
Source: MLive.com
Jun 17 - 11:16 AM

DetroitLions.com believes second-year RB Zach Zenner will be "battling" for a roster spot in training camp.

Zenner is a folk hero in fantasy circles because of his SPARQ score, but is a second-year UDFA coming off a major injury. Zenner took the ball 17 times for 60 yards (3.52 YPC) as a rookie before suffering a season-ending ribs/lung injury. Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are locked in as the Lions' top two backs.
Jun 16 - 2:15 PM

Lions contract-year CB Darius Slay wants to be paid like a top-seven cornerback.

It's an odd demand, but hardly out of line considering Slay's 2015 play, where he was one of the best cornerbacks in the league. "I’m a top guy, that’s it," Slay said. "I ain’t no real cocky guy like that, but I’m just confident in my game and what I put on film." The sides have had preliminary talks, but little more. Slay would be a prime candidate for the franchise tag next spring if a deal can't be reached.
Jun 14 - 6:52 PM

Lions MLB Stephen Tulloch has been excused from mandatory minicamp.

The Lions are expected to make his release official in the next few weeks. It's been a bizarre offseason for Tulloch, who was told he's no longer part of the team's plans but remains on the roster. The Lions even paid him a $500,000 roster bonus that could have been avoided by cutting him within five days of the new league year. He hasn't shown up for any of the team's offseason activities.
Jun 13 - 12:21 PM


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