The Detroit Lions’ wide receiver room continues to get more and more healthy. On Wednesday, Quintez Cephus returned to practice after missing the past eight games. Cephus suffered a foot injury in Week 4’s game against Seattle Seahawks and was placed on injured reserve shortly thereafter.
Cephus is still technically on injured reserve, but the Lions can now activate him whenever they believe he is ready to return to action. Detroit has 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster. If they choose not to during that 21-day window, he will stay on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
Cephus, the team’s fifth-round pick in 2020, has battled with injury for much of his career but has shown flashes of promise in between those injuries. Last year, he produced 204 receiving yards and two touchdowns in just five games before suffering a broken collarbone. In his rookie season, Cephus caught 20 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see if Cephus can break the offensive lineup in the final five weeks of the season. With DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds healthy for the first time since Week 3, the return of first-round pick Jameson Williams, and Amon-Ra St. Brown’s elite level of play, Cephus will likely enter the lineup fifth on the depth chart, at the highest.
That said, Cephus brings something that most of Detroit’s receiving corps doesn’t have: size and physicality. If he can hit the ground running in practice, there’s a chance the Lions can find a role for him. Otherwise, Cephus will likely be relegated to a special teams role when ready.