He didn’t progress during the window to activate him as hoped, so the 2022 season is over for Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus.
The Detroit Lions opened the return window for wide receiver Quintez Cephus on Dec. 7, as he worked his way back from a foot injury earlier in the season. There was no real news over the last few weeks about his progress, hinting that there wasn’t any–or enough.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed that progress hadn’t come. Cephus will not be added to the Lions’ active roster, and his 2022 season is over.
Cephus split his snaps between offense and special teams over the first three games this season (18 offensive snaps, 34 special teams snaps). Injuries to Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark opened up opportunity for him in Week 4, as he played 33 offensive snaps against the Seahawks with two catches for 15 yards.
Cephus also suffered what would become his season-ending foot injury in that game, landing on IR afterward.
Will Quintez Cephus be back with the Lions in 2023?
Injuries have derailed Cephus over the last couple seasons. A promising start to 2021 was stopped by a collarbone injury in Week 5. He avoided a major lower body injury in this year’s training camp, after a scary-looking fall after getting tangled with Jeff Okudah. Then he became a solid special teams contributor early in the season, before getting more offensive snaps in Week 4 and getting injured again.
Cephus is under contract for 2023, the final year of his rookie contract as a 2020 fifth-round pick. So it won’t be an issue of cost regarding whether he’s back with the Lions next year, with a cap hit just a shade over $1 million.
Looking to next year, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams are locks to occupy prominent spots on Detroit’s wide receiver depth chart. DJ Chark is technically a free agent (void years in 2023 and 2024), but his recent run may convince the Lions to firmly re-up with him. Josh Reynolds is under contract for 2023, the second year of his two-year deal. Tom Kennedy seems sure to linger somewhere.
So Cephus is in line to be battling for a roster spot during training camp again next year. He should be healthy in plenty of time to put his best foot forward.