Last week, the Detroit Lions had their kick returner in Dwayne Washington. Never a lock to make the team during training camp and the preseason, Washington seemed to carve out a role for himself on special teams, specifically fielding kicks on the return team.
Then, Week 1 happened:
Washington finished Week 1 with 31 yards on two kick returns, but the numbers aren’t nearly as revealing about his decision making in that Cardinals game as the video above shows. His rough day wasn’t confined to just that one play either: a personal foul penalty by Washington negated an 11-yard return on Jamal Agnew’s first career punt return earlier in the game.
Earlier in the week, Caldwell showed a vote of confidence in Washington, and it seemed as though the Lions were sticking with him as their main kick returner in spite of the mistake he made on that one particular play:
Caldwell on his confidence in Dwayne Washington: We switch it up once in awhile. "He didn't make the best decision in regard to 'that one'.— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) September 11, 2017
Before Saturday morning’s practice, Caldwell mentioned the possibility of the team mixing in Jamal Agnew on kick returns for Monday night’s matchup against the Giants:
Caldwell said we could see both Dwayne Washington and Jamal Agnew returning kickoffs Monday night.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) September 16, 2017
What’s interesting to note here is Agnew did return a kick last week against the Cardinals for 18 yards—he fielded it from inside the Lions’ end zone and brought it out to the 16-yard line.
The Lions face the New York Giants on Monday night, Sep. 18, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.