The Detroit Lions are in the thick of training camp with a handful of battles left to fill out the 53-man roster. While there is always a lot of attention paid to those right on the bubble, there are plenty of interesting competitions amongst those who are a bit safer, but unsure as to how exactly their role will look.
A unique combination of these situations happens at the kick returner spot, as competitors range from all across the depth chart. Teams across the league employ a few different strategies, mainly deciding between a bona fide starter who can take on an additional duty or a speedy backup that is less essential elsewhere. The Lions must choose which of these routes to take.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Who should be the Lions kick returner?
My answer: As of late, Detroit has preferred to find someone speedy and — no offense intended — expendable as the primary kick returner. Last season it was Godwin Igwebuike who saw the bulk of the attempts, and the reserve running back seems like the leading candidate again.
Igwebuike represents the concept of finding someone who can just run fast and make good decisions, but also someone who the team could live without in case of injury. Reports of Kalil Pimpleton and Maurice Alexander also getting looks as returners fall right in line with this school of thought.
However, it appears the Lions are at least considering making a drastic change by putting D’Andre Swift in the rotation as well. This would be a very different approach as Swift will also be shouldering a very significant role on offense. If Detroit does want a true playmaker to field kicks, though, then it stands to reason that Swift deserves a shot at the job.