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Thursday open thread: Which Lions player stands to benefit most from the Golden Tate trade?

Who will help replace the massive production hole left by the Golden Tate trade?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Golden Tate has officially arrived in Philadelphia, it’s time for the Detroit Lions to move on. That was clearly the message in the locker room Wednesday, as the Lions players tried to turn their focus from losing a key member of the team to preparing for their second divisional game of the season—this time against the Minnesota Vikings.

A lot of questions remain about how the team will respond to Tate’s departure. Will Detroit see a big change in offensive game planning? How will Tate’s 5-6 catches per game be distributed among the rest of the team’s receivers? Who will be Matthew Stafford’s favorite third-down option now?

We obviously won’t know some of these answers until the team takes the field for the first time without Golden Tate in four-and-a-half years. But let’s speculate.

Today’s Question of the Day is;

Which Lions player stands to benefit most from the Golden Tate trade?

My answer: Ryan Mathews made a pretty convincing argument that now is the time for Kenny Golladay to make the most of this opportunity.

Kenny Golladay will play a crucial role in determining the success of this offense going forward,” Mathews wrote. “He’ll have every opportunity for the rest of this season to display his versatility and prove he’s up to producing at a high level to put Detroit’s offense among the best in the NFL.”

Golladay’s inside-outside versatility certainly gives him an edge to become Stafford’s most-popular target. The question is whether he’ll be able to handle the increased pressure and attention from opposing defenses.

That’s why I’m actually going with TJ Jones. I’ll have more on this later, but the locker room seemed to hint at him playing a much larger role with the team going forward. Jones has the same kind of versatility that Golladay does, but here’s the big difference to me: I’m not of the belief that Detroit is simply going to abandon three wide receiver looks now that Tate is gone. Those sets accounted for 62 percent of Detroit’s offense through seven games.

Brandon Powell isn’t ready to take on that large of a role, and we saw last year how Jones was more than capable of additional responsibilities. He’s not going to suddenly be the team’s new Golden Tate, but don’t sleep on him either.

Your turn.


Which Lions player will benefit most for the Golden Tate trade?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Kenny Golladay
    (235 votes)
  • 29%
    TJ Jones
    (261 votes)
  • 16%
    Brandon Powell
    (150 votes)
  • 13%
    Theo Riddick
    (117 votes)
  • 4%
    Michael Roberts
    (37 votes)
  • 6%
    Kerryon Johnson
    (61 votes)
  • 2%
    (25 votes)
886 votes total Vote Now

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