Player News - Lions

Date: Team: Pos:

Matthew Stafford said he hopes the offense is more balanced this season.

"Any time you can be balanced it’s going to help keep defenses off-balance," Stafford said. "For us, and really anybody in the NFL, you kind of throw the ball to score points, and you got to run the ball to win the game at the end. We started doing that the second half of the season last year." Lions running backs saw about five extra carries a game over the second half of the season, although Ameer Abdullah was the only runner who improved his efficiency. Abdullah is back atop the depth chart this year, and a big season from him would do nothing but help Stafford and the passing game.
Jul 30 - 8:46 AM

Anquan Boldin worked with the first-team offense during the first practice of Lions camp.

That did not take long. After signing a one-year deal on Thursday, Boldin was lining up between Golden Tate and Marvin Jones on Friday. If his $750,000 signing bonus was not proof enough, this clearly shows he is the favorite for the No. 3 job. T.J. Jones worked with the second-team on Friday.
Source: MLive.com
Jul 30 - 8:25 AM

Lions placed WLB DeAndre Levy on the active/NFI list.

Levy is still recovering from last year's hip surgery. Despite Levy's absence—he watched Friday's practice in a baseball cap and hoodie—coach Jim Caldwell is still convinced Levy will have a major role on defense this year. "We just kind of want to be careful with him and just make certain he’s ready to go," said Caldwell. "At this point in time we want to be a little bit prudent in terms of how we deal with it."
Jul 29 - 7:17 PM

Lions signed CB Darius Slay to a four-year, $50.2 million extension through 2020.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the deal contains $23 million fully guaranteed at signing. A sort of late bloomer who emerged as a legitimate shutdown corner last season, Slay should get more opportunities to shadow enemy No. 1 receivers this year. He finished 2015 as Pro Football Focus' No. 2-rated cornerback behind only Tyrann Mathieu, shining both in coverage and run support.
Jul 29 - 11:59 AM

The Lions' official website expects Eric Ebron to "see a huge uptick in the number of balls thrown his way this year."

It's noteworthy as longtime in-house reporter Tim Twentyman is still saying so following the addition of Anquan Boldin. Ebron was targeted a modest 69 times last season. He needs a jump into the 90-100 range to be a legitimate TE1.
Jul 28 - 5:39 PM

Anquan Boldin's one-year contract is worth $2.75 million, and includes a $750,000 signing bonus.

In other words, he'll be making the 53-man roster. All but assured of No. 3 receiver duties, Boldin will probably be in the 50-catch range behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Eric Ebron may be most hurt by Boldin's addition.
Jul 28 - 2:48 PM

The Lions plan to play Anquan Boldin both in the slot and on the perimeter.

Boldin played 64.7 percent of his snaps in the slot last season. That number was 56.0 percent for Golden Tate. There's no question Tate is the bigger playmaker out of the slot at this point in their respective careers, but perhaps he'll cede the middle to Boldin in some three-receiver sets. Boldin will take targets from each of Tate, Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick, but not enough from any to stall their fantasy value.
Jul 28 - 1:20 PM

Lions agreed to terms with WR Anquan Boldin on a one-year contract.

Boldin visited the Lions last month. Boldin still had plenty left in the tank for the pathetic 49ers last season, catching 69 passes in 14 games as he dealt with bottom-three quarterback play. Still, going on 36, he's headed to the Lions as a No. 3 receiver. He'll cut into Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Eric Ebron's targets, but shouldn't destroy their fantasy value. As a standalone option, Boldin probably won't be more than a WR5. It's a big addition for a Lions team moving on from Calvin Johnson, but not a major fantasy event.
Jul 26 - 1:45 PM

MLive's Justin Rogers believes it is "unreasonable" to expect a lot more carries for Theo Riddick.

Riddick made his bones in the passing game last season, recording 80 receptions for 697 yards and three scores, but he was only given 43 touches in the running game. Even with significant questions at running back, it does not sound like the Lions will give him a ton more work on the ground. Riddick is still in the FLEX mix in PPR formats because of his involvement in the passing game.
Source: MLive.com
Jul 25 - 12:31 PM

The Detroit Free Press reports TE Brandon Pettigrew (ACL) is "expected back somewhere around the middle of next month."

If so, he would be ready for Week 1. It's been speculated since the spring that Pettigrew might land on reserve/PUP to open the season, which would cost him the first six games. When healthy, Pettigrew is the Lions' blocking tight end.
Jul 24 - 3:17 PM

Ameer Abdullah (shoulder) avoided the active/PUP list to begin Lions camp.

Players who aren't cleared to practice go on active/PUP. This means Abdullah has been cleared and should be all systems go following offseason shoulder surgery. Although Abdullah's rookie year was a disappointment from a fantasy standpoint, he did average 4.70 yards per carry in the Lions' final ten games and should see more volume as a sophomore. Concerns on Abdullah's ceiling stem from Theo Riddick's near-monopolization of running back receiving work and the Lions' insistence on using a "big back" to handle short-yardage and goal-line carries. Abdullah is a middle-round fantasy pick.
Jul 24 - 3:13 PM

Lions placed WR Corey Fuller (foot) on the active/PUP list.

Fuller has been shut down since June surgery. He isn't a lock to return in camp. Even when healthy, Fuller is on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
Jul 24 - 1:59 PM

Lions placed TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee) on the active/PUP list.

Pettigrew was never expected to be ready for training camp. He's seven months into his ACL recovery. Pettigrew is a candidate to open the season on reserve/PUP, costing him the first six games.
Jul 24 - 1:58 PM

The Detroit Free Press believes UDFA TE Cole Wick could push to start.

Wick put on a show at offseason workouts, but this is more of a bold prediction. Eric Ebron has never been a full-time starter, and the Lions have snaps to fill with Brandon Pettigrew sidelined. Wick’s role is worth tracking this preseason.
Jul 23 - 6:07 PM

Lions signed DE Quanterus Smith.

Smith, 27 in November, was a 2013 fifth-round pick by the Broncos and came to fame when he bullied Alabama OT D.J. Fluker several times for sacks when Smith's Western Kentucky squad travelled to Tuscaloosa in 2012. Smith hasn't been able to get on the field since entering the NFL.
Jul 20 - 2:36 PM


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