The Detroit Lions are dealing with multiple injuries amongst their wide receivers unit and have signed Tom Kennedy from their practice squad to their active roster.
Starters Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark were both unable to play in Week 4 due to ankle injuries and the Lions elevated Kennedy and Maurice Alexander on Sunday against the Seahawks. Kennedy, who was announced as a starter, saw 81 percent of the offense’s snaps. Some of that was likely part of the game plan, but he surely saw his role increase when replacement starter Quintez Cephus went down with a foot injury. He turned those snaps into a career-high three catches for 54 yards.
At his Wednesday press conference, coach Dan Campbell said that St. Brown and Chark were getting better, but were still unlikely to practice on Wednesday and were still considered day-to-day. Meanwhile, Cephus was seen leaving Ford Field in a walking boot and his outlook appears even less optimistic.
Kennedy was the star of the preseason for the Lions—leading the team with 16 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns—but his inability to find a role on special teams has always limited his chances of making the roster, as the fourth, fifth, and sixth wide receivers typically need to contribute in the third phase of the game. But on offense, when given the opportunity, he is a very reliable player.
“TK is like 7/11, man,” Josh Reynolds said on Monday. “He’s always going to be in the spot he needs to be at. He’s just one of those dependable guys that you can count on to do his job and just execute it. He’s going to be in the spots you need him to be. He’s not going to bust many plays. You need guys like that.”
With St. Brown, Chark, and Cephus at risk of not playing, Kennedy could have a possible large role for the second week in a row.
With Kennedy signed, that opened up a spot on the practice squad, which was filled by kicker Michael Badgley, a move that was reported on Tuesday, but confirmed by the team today.