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Tuesday open thread: Should the Detroit Lions activate Jamal Agnew when healthy?

The Lions’ punt returner sounds eager to return, but should the Lions shelve him to keep him safe?

NFL: Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers wKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Detroit Lions punt returner Jamal Agnew sounded downright giddy about about the idea of returning to play.

“I just want to get back and help the team win,” Agnew said. “I don’t like watching football. I’ve been doing it all my life. I’m trying to get back out there and play. I’m just itching to get back out there.”

Agnew suffered a knee injury in Week 5 that landed him on the injured reserve list, but he avoided surgery and initial reports suggested he may be able to return for a playoff run.

Unfortunately for Agnew and the Lions, that playoff run doesn’t appear to be coming. The Lions are 4-7 and with the Rams coming to town, it seems like this team’s absolute ceiling is .500 ball, and that probably won’t be enough for a playoff berth.

Agnew must remain sidelined for another couple weeks due to IR rules, but he could theoretically come back for Week 15 against the Bills... if he’s feeling healthy enough. But is pushing your All-Pro punt returner back into the lineup worth it for two or three games with no playoff implications? That’s today’s Question of the Day:

Should the Lions activate Jamal Agnew from IR this year if healthy?

My answer: Yes.

I know late last week I suggested benching Kerryon Johnson for the rest of the year, and the Lions just did that with wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., but this is a little different to me.

First, Agnew was just starting to become a bigger contributor on defense, and I think he could really use all the reps he could get at that position. It would both help him gain confidence again, and give him valuable experience at a fairly new position and a new scheme. Whereas for a guy like Kerryon, the transition from NCAA running back to NFL running back is much less complicated.

Looking at Agnew’s expression on Monday as he talked about possibly returning to the field, you’d have no idea the team was 4-7 and just about out of the playoff race. The man is so eager to be out there on Sundays, and I think he could benefit from it just enough for it to be worth it to see him out there in the final few weeks of the season.

Your turn.


Should the Lions activate Jamal Agnew from IR this year if he’s healthy enough?

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