You had to see this one coming. The Detroit Lions are reportedly signing practice squad running back Craig Reynolds to the active roster. The news was first reported by PFF’s NFL reporter Doug Keyd and confirmed by the Free Press’ Dave Birkett moments after.
Elevated to the game-day roster each of the last two weeks as a COVID-19 replacement for Jamaal Williams, Reynolds absolutely stole the show, rushing for 83-yards in Denver and 112 at home against the Cardinals in an upset 30-12 win. Reynolds earned PFF grades of 84.0 overall (85.8 rushing) in Week 14 and 81.1 (80.2 rushing) in Week 15.
This 27-yard run from #Lions Craig Reynolds was expected to gain 5 yards. The 22 yards above expectation was 6th most on a single rush in Week 15 per @NextGenStats. Reynolds also holds runs 18 and 19 in Week 15, with gains of 12 and 11 above expectation.pic.twitter.com/zMPjC03dAH— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) December 20, 2021
After two weeks of stepping up and (literally) carrying the team’s rushing attack, he was recognized in the team’s locker room celebration after their victory over Arizona.
“You guys are a tough, gritty group man,” coach Dan Campbell said addressing the team. “You’re a tough gritty group. You always have been. And now, you’re seeing it pay dividends. Man, look, a team gets one out, two out, we got multiple out, and multiple guys stepped up, and that’s what we’re capable of.”
As soon as Campbell finished that sentence he approvingly nodded and pointed at Reynolds, and that prompted general manager to push the running back into the middle of the room, drawing cheers and congratulations from his teammates.
Reynolds is yet another great Lions story in a rebuilding year that seems loaded with them.
Details on the contract were not made available at this time, but even if his contract expires at the end of this season, Reynolds would become an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, meaning if offered, he would only be able to sign a contract with the Lions next season, essentially keeping him with the organization in 2022.