As part of our season wrap-up series, we are going to examine how each player on the roster performed in 2014. Next, let's take a look at the Detroit Lions' wide receivers. (Note: Stats are from regular-season games only.)
Calvin Johnson - 13 games (13 starts) | 71 catches, 1,077 yards, 8 TD
Johnson was hampered by an ankle injury for much of the season. The injury forced him to miss a few games, and it forced him to basically just serve as a decoy in a couple of games as well. In other words, the fact that Johnson still went over 1,000 yards and had eight touchdowns is impressive when you consider he was injured from Week 3 on. Johnson's inability to stay healthy in recent years is definitely a growing cause for concern, but he looked like his usual self down the stretch this season.
Golden Tate - 16 games (16 starts) | 99 catches, 1,331 yards, 4 TD | 5 carries, 30 yards
When Johnson missed time with his injury, Tate stepped up as the Lions' No. 1 receiver. Tate was brought in to be a complement to Johnson, but he really helped carry the offense for a good chunk of the season. He obliterated his previous career highs in catches and yards, and he really turned out to be one of the top free-agent signings from last offseason.
Jeremy Ross - 16 games (13 starts) | 24 catches, 314 yards, 1 TD | 2 carries, -1 yard | 2 lost fumbles
Ross emerged as the Lions' No. 3 receiver, but he didn't actually produce a whole lot. There were occasional flashes for him on offense, but he seems like a player who could be replaced next season, especially when you consider that he took a big step back as a returner. (Ross' kick return average dropped from 29.3 to 25.4 from 2013 to 2014, and his punt return average dropped from 16.2 to 8.9.)
Corey Fuller - 16 games (2 starts) | 14 catches, 212 yards, 1 TD | 1 lost fumble
Fuller made the team after a strong training camp and preseason, and he showed some promise as the Lions' No. 4 receiver in 2014. His stats weren't out of this world by any means, but he had a few clutch catches over the course of the season, and he showed an ability to get behind the defense. If Matthew Stafford was more accurate on his deep throws, chances are Fuller would have added two or three big catches to his numbers.
Ryan Broyles - 5 games (0 starts) | 2 catches, 25 yards
The good news is that Broyles made it through the season without suffering an injury. The bad news is that was mainly because he couldn't get on the field. He didn't play in a single game in the second half of the season, and he only managed to get off the inactives list in the first half of the season because Johnson got hurt. And even then, Broyles barely played even when he was active. It was disappointing to see Broyles get such little playing time after a strong preseason, but hopefully he will become a bigger part of the offense in 2015.
TJ Jones - 0 games (0 starts)
After having offseason shoulder surgery, Jones ended up spending the entire season on the PUP list. The Lions could have activated him during the season, but there just wasn't room at wide receiver, as evidenced by Broyles' lack of playing time. Jones will compete for a roster spot in 2015.