Detroit Lions’ Kenny Golladay returns to practice, could give offense boost vs. Cardinals

Detroit Free Press

Kenny Golladay will practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring his hamstring Sept. 9, and the Detroit Lions’ No. 1 receiver could make his season debut Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

With Golladay out of the lineup, the Lions offense has sputtered through two games, scoring just 44 points in losses to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

Golladay led the NFL with 11 touchdown catches last season and ranked among the league leaders at 18.3 yards per catch. His absence is a big reason why the Lions’ deep passing attack has been mostly non-existent during their 0-2 start.

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Through two weeks, Matthew Stafford has completed just 2 of 8 passes that have traveled more than 20 yards downfield, and his average yards per pass attempt has fallen from a career-high 8.6 last year to 7.2, his career average

“He’s one of the top wideouts in the league and he’s shown that,” Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said in a conference call Wednesday. “His production the last years has been incredible. His style of play, his physical nature, you watch it, he’ll definitely bring a lot of juice to their offense.”

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Golladay strained a hamstring in practice the Wednesday before the Lions’ season opener, and the team has used a combination of Marvin Hall and rookie fifth-round pick Quintez Cephus in his place.

Lions coach Matt Patricia said the team was being mindful of Golladay’s health, and trying not to have his injury become a season-long ordeal.

In 2017, Golladay missed five games with a hamstring injury.

“Obviously, it hurts when you’re losing one of your best guys, so hopefully we’ll be able to get him back this week,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “(He) adds a different dimension. It totally changes the way that the defense looks at you when all of a sudden you have Kenny and Marv (Jones) and T.J. (Hockenson), and Danny (Amendola) and those guys, and all those pieces working together. I think it gives you different things that you’re able to do.”

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Patricia said cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring) will be the only player effectively out at practice Wednesday.

Mimicking Murray

The Lions signed offensive lineman Marcus Martin and wide receiver Joe Webb to their practice squad Wednesday, filling the vacancies left by Kenny Wiggins’ promotion to the active roster last week and the release of Jonathan Williams on Tuesday.

Webb, a sixth-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2010, played quarterback in college and has played as a hybrid quarterback-receiver-return man for much of his NFL career. His skill set could help the Lions mimic Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in practice this week.

“Joe Webb’s great,” Patricia said. “He can do a bunch of different things. He’s actually a big-body guy. He can play quarterback, he can play receiver. Can probably play tight end. We need bodies out there and guys that can give us a good look, so I’m sure whatever we ask him to do he’s going to do.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. 

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