In a powerful profile on his upbringing, running back Craig Reynolds reveals it was perhaps his brother’s fall from grace that set him straight on his eight-year path that landed him on the Detroit Lions roster.
In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen, Reynolds explains the difficult journey full of incredible hardships and perseverance that brought him to the Motor City. Without giving away too much, Reynolds tells the story of how his older brother Eric—destined for the NFL—became addicted to drugs and lost his way. He’s still in prison today. Craig knew he had to steer the course if he had any hopes of becoming a professional football player.
“You could say it was a sacrifice. It was a way for me to learn what not to do,” Reynolds told Breen.
The article details his brother’s struggles and Craig’s tough journey to make it to the NFL.
No D1 offers out of high school. Only Kutztown University, a D2 school, would let him play as a running back. No invite to the combine. Almost considered being an insurance broker. Went undrafted. Practice squad after practice squad. Cut seven times, Reynolds said. Now he’s on the 53-man roster of the Detroit Lions.
“Would it have been nice to be a first-round pick, top five? Yeah, it would have been,” Reynolds told Breen. “But doing it this way, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The work I’ve put in, the training, and the praying, putting God first, it’s a blessing.”
Although Craig talks to his brother on the phone each night before a game, now his dream is to see his brother cheering him on from the stands with their family. Eric has the opportunity to be released this year, so that dream could come sooner than later.
It’s a moving profile that sheds light on Craig’s character and his intense determination to make it to the NFL. It also includes a funny anecdote about how he didn’t have time to meet his Detroit teammates before suiting up, so he was introducing himself on the sidelines. Read the whole piece here. ($)
And onto the rest of your notes.
- One of the biggest questions the Lions are facing is when is the right time to draft a franchise quarterback? The Detroit News’ John Niyo argues that although this draft’s quarterback class isn’t the strongest, the time may be now. ($)
- Along the same vein, the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett tells the story of how Eric DeCosta helped the Baltimore Ravens pick a winning quarterback not once but twice and what lessons the Lions can learn from it. ($)
- For those who enjoy bad, anonymous takes:
Our own @KoryEWoods talked to a former NFL Pro Bowler who is not a fan of Hutchinson at all. pic.twitter.com/9zULQDkfJS— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) March 2, 2022
- In a free agency mock by CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, veteran Chris Godwin signs with the Lions to beef up the offense.
- Similarly, NFL.com’s Adam Shook takes a shot at selecting one free agent fit for every NFC team. For the Lions, it’s poaching a star receiver from a rival.
- Some good news about a former Lion on his path to recovery:
Seahawks’ free-agent-to-be safety Quandre Diggs is expected to be fully cleared from his ankle injury for all football activities in June, per sources. Diggs broke his ankle in week 17 of the NFL season but his doctors say he is recovering well.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 3, 2022
- Jeremy joined Erik’s podcast, Detroit Lions Breakdown, to preview the defensive side of the combine if you’d like to take a listen.
Episode #228: "NFL Combine Preview, Defense" with special guest Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) is now available to download and listen at https://t.co/RYkGLnzifR and all your favorite podcast services.— Det Lions Breakdown (@LionsBreakdown) March 3, 2022