Kenny Golladay missed five games with a hamstring injury as a rookie and the Detroit Lions want to avoid a repeat of that situation, handling the star wide receiver’s injury with the utmost caution to start the 2020 season.
Golladay still wasn’t on the practice field on Thursday, but coach Matt Patricia said he’s seeing positive progression with the injury that sidelined Golladay for the season opener.
“No, we’ve seen progress, so we’ll just take it day-by-day from that standpoint, see how it goes,” Patricia said on Thursday. “Just like I said yesterday, you don’t want to push something into a bad spot, either.”
Golladay is one of four starters doing little to nothing for the Lions on Thursday, along with cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring), offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot) and defensive tackle Nick Williams (shoulder). Undrafted rookie tight end Hunter Bryant (hamstring) also remains sidelined.
Without Golladay — who led the NFL in touchdown receptions a year ago — the Lions struggled in the red zone against the Bears last Sunday, crossing the goal line on just two of their five trips inside the 20.
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If Golladay remains out, the Lions likely will lean heavily on rookie Quintez Cephus again. In the opener, he was targeted 10 times, catching three passes for 43 yards.
“He’s done a nice job,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “Obviously, I missed him on a couple, there’s a couple I’m sure he wishes he had back. That’s kind of how it goes when you have a young guy in there and you’re trying to get to know him and learn ’em, and he’s trying to learn the game without a preseason or any of that stuff.
“He’s a guy that came in Day 1 and was asked to do a lot, and he never skipped a beat, kind of hopped in there when it was his turn to get in there, went out there and executed plays.”