Josh Reynolds connected enough dots before he hit free agency in March to think the Detroit Lions would be major players for his services.
He spent four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where new Lions general manager Brad Holmes and his top executive, Ray Agnew, were in the front office, and he caught most of his 113 career passes from new Lions quarterback Jared Goff.
Reynolds said he “liked the Lions” as a landing spot then, but the chance to play in Detroit did not materialize until Wednesday, when the Lions claimed the veteran receiver off waivers from the Tennessee Titans.
“God works in mysterious ways,” Reynolds said Thursday. “Ended up going to Tennessee (in free agency). Didn’t work out there and I’m back where I’m supposed to be.”
In Detroit, Reynolds immediately becomes the most accomplished receiver in a unit that has struggled to generate consistent production this season.
Rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown leads all Lions receivers with 27 catches for 250 yards, and Kalif Raymond has 26 receptions for 334 yards. But the Lions have parted ways in recent months with spring free agent additions Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman, and young receiver Quintez Cephus has not played since Week 5 because of a broken collar bone.
“Coming in halfway through the season, I’ve got to make the best of my opportunities no matter how little or how much,” Reynolds said. “I’m here to help the team, whether it’s coaching guys up or catching passes, it doesn’t really matter. I’m here to help these guys win and build this culture.”
The Lions (0-8) claimed Reynolds to help spruce up a deep passing game that has been nonexistent most of the year.
Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said he is not sure how much Reynolds can help Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers given he just got to Detroit. But the expectation is that the 26-year-old will be a big outside threat in a passing offense that has relied heavily on tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift to this point in the season.
Reynolds said he is willing to do “whatever they’d ask of me” after a disappointing stint in Tennessee, where he caught 10 passes on 13 targets in five games after signing a one-year, $1.75 million free agent deal.
And he said he is excited to reunite with Goff, his quarterback with the Rams in 2017-20.
“He shot me a text before it actually happened saying, ‘Did we get you yet?'” Reynolds said. “I was like, ‘Not yet, man. It’s in the works, though.’ But yeah, I was excited, he was excited. Talked to him this morning, it’s just awesome to be able to see a familiar face that you were there for four years with. It’s going to be good.”