Lions OTA observations: Jared Goff showing chemistry with Josh Reynolds, DJ Chark

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions held a second OTA practice open to the media on Thursday. Here are some notes and observations from that practice:

► It wasn’t a perfect day by any means, but starting quarterback Jared Goff had a good practice, particularly working his previously developed connection with receiver Josh Reynolds. Goff’s best throw came on a post pattern to Reynolds, fitting the ball into a microscopic window against the tight coverage of cornerback Will Harris.

► Credit to Harris, who was in good position on that play, only to be beaten by an even better throw. The safety turned corner did have an excellent PBU later in the day, mirroring Amon-Ra St. Brown’s route while maintaining inside leverage on the post pattern. Had the receiver not reversed roles and swatted the ball from Harris’ hands, it would have been an interception.

► Reynolds had a big, 15-yard catch on a fourth-and-1 play during a two-minute drive segment, but that was the lone bright spot for both the first- and second-team offenses during that portion of practice.

The scenario required the offense to drive 62 yards for a touchdown with a minute on the clock and no timeouts remaining. The first-team petered out after Reynolds’ catch. Following a spike to stop the clock, Goff was sacked trying to roll away from the pressure of defensive lineman Jashon Cornell, resulting in the draining of the remaining 10 seconds.

The second-team offense’s series also ended on a sack, this one by defensive tackle Bruce Hector.  Linebacker Jarrad Davis also had a sack earlier in the possession, where the defense held the backups led by quarterback Tim Boyle without a first down.

► Boyle had another bad interception, following up last week’s pick-six that opened (and closed) a two-minute drill. This time the quarterback put a ball directly into the breadbasket of rookie safety Kerby Joseph, who was playing shallow in a robber role on the snap.

► It’s early, but it feels like Goff is formulating some quality chemistry with newcomer DJ Chark. The two hooked up multiple times across the middle, including an early throw that Goff feathered between two layers of the defense.

The quarterback also tried a deep shot to his speedy outside weapon, but cornerback Amani Oruwariye had good coverage and broke up the throw.

► The injury list largely continues to be made up of the same players, including offensive tackle Taylor Decker (foot), rookie receiver Jameson Williams (knee), cornerback Jerry Jacobs (knee), tight end James Mitchell (knee) and defensive end Romeo Okwara (Achilles).

Tight end T.J. Hockenson was also absent. He missed last week’s open practice with an illness, while no reason was provided this week. It is worth a reminder that these are voluntary sessions.

The most notable new injury was defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu, who had the upper portion of his right leg taped up when he emerged from the locker room. He missed several games last season with a quad injury.

► Rookie James Houston opened practice working through individual drills with the defensive line, but spent the majority of the day playing as an off-the-ball linebacker. More interestingly, he got several looks with the first-team defense, ahead of guys like Davis and fellow sixth-round pick Malcolm Rodriguez.

► With Godwin Igwebuike nursing a minor injury, running back D’Andre Swift stepped in to handle some kickoff returns alongside the team’s projected punt returner, Kalif Raymond.

► It’s tough to see a place for him on the roster, but wide receiver Trinity Benson looks much more comfortable than he did last season, after he was acquired in a September trade from the Broncos. He’s getting easy separation on quick, short throws and also came up with a diving grab across the middle late in the practice.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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