On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions claimed wide receiver Josh Reynolds off of waivers, after the 26-year-old pass catcher asked for his release from the Tennessee Titans. While you may think that going from a 7-2 team currently holding the No. 1 seed in the AFC to a winless team in the NFC would be a frustrating midseason transition for a player, Reynolds appeared to be experiencing the opposite when talking to reporters on Thursday.
“I didn’t leave to go to a winning team, otherwise I would have stayed in Tennessee,” Reynolds said. “I came to compete and come to a great culture and that’s what I’m feeling. I’ve been here not even 24 hours yet and I can just feel the love that everybody has for each other and just the connection everybody has got.”
Reynolds, too, was looking for opportunity. Behind A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, he wasn’t getting many passes thrown his way. In five game appearances, he was targeted a total of just 13 times, which he turned into 10 catches and 90 yards. But in Detroit, Reynolds immediately becomes the most experienced and successful receiver the Lions have. With Kalif Raymond being the only set receiver on the outside, Reynolds admitted the opportunity to play adds to his excitement for landing in Detroit.
“It’s what I came for,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been preparing my whole career for it, preparing like I was a starter regardless of whether I wasn’t or not, and hoping it’s time to have it pay off. That’s what I’m excited for.”
Another big plus for Reynolds was reuniting with Jared Goff, the quarterback during his most successful seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Over four years, Goff and Reynolds have connected for 105 catches, 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. It’s clear there was some excitement on Goff’s side, as well.
“He shot me a text before it actually happened and said, ‘Did we get you yet?’” Reynolds said. “I was like, ‘Not yet, man. It’s in the works, though.’ I was excited. He was excited. Talking to him this morning, man, it’s just awesome to be able to see a familiar face that you were there for four years with. It’s going to be good.”
At this point, it’s unclear whether Reynolds will able to contribute immediately. As of Thursday afternoon, he had been in Detroit for less than 24 hours. Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn admitted he wasn’t sure whether Reynolds would be part of the game plan this week.
“I don’t know. I just met him 30 minutes ago,” Lynn said. “He’ll come out here, work a little bit today and we’ll see how much he can pick up.”
Whatever the Lions choose to do with Reynolds against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, the new receiver will be ready.
“Whatever they ask of me, I’d put my whole heart into it, man. I haven’t really heard whether I’m going to be up or down this week. I’m just going to take it one day at a time, learn this playbook, continue to grow with JG and the rest of this team and get this thing moving.”