The Detroit Lions’ already-thin receiving corps is down another weapon.
Second-year receiver Quintez Cephus suffered what Lions coach Dan Campbell called a likely serious shoulder injury with 59 seconds left in the first half of Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Cephus, who had emerged as the Lions’ top receiver in recent weeks, was injured when he was driven hard to the ground by two Vikings defenders on the Lions sideline.
“It looks like it’s in the shoulder-front area,” Campbell said. “Could be his clavicle, could be his shoulder, but it doesn’t look good.”
Cephus had played the best football of his young career in recent weeks. He caught touchdowns in each of the Lions’ first two games, and set career-highs with four catches for 83 yards in last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
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The Lions (0-5) finished Sunday’s game with Kalif Ramond, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Trinity Benson and KhaDarel Hodge as their top receivers, and currently have a receiver room that looks nothing like what they expected when they began assembling their roster in early spring.
Tyrell Williams, the Lions’ No. 1 receiver entering the season, has not played since suffering a brain injury in a Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and the Lions cut their projected No. 2 receiver, Breshad Perriman, at the end of training camp.
St. Brown, a fourth-round pick out of USC, led the Lions with seven catches for 65 yards Sunday, and Hodge caught a late two-point conversion on a play that was originally designed for Cephus.
Quarterback Jared Goff said the Lions ran the two-point conversion play they completed to briefly take a late lead Sunday several times in practice last week.
“I don’t know if KhaDarel Hodge ran that route ever,” Goff said. “I think it was Cephus the whole time in practice. And then Cephus goes down and KhaDarel steps in and being a smart player, knowing what he’s supposed to do and gets himself open. You know, that kind of indicates the type of guys we have, which is encouraging there.”