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Thursday open thread: Will Quintez Cephus have a role in 2022?

It will be another uphill climb for the third-year receiver, especially coming off an injury.

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Wide receivers can take some time to season in the NFL, so when the Detroit Lions selected Quintez Cephus in the fifth round of the 2020 draft, most fans recognized his impact would likely be muted at first. However, a year of experience plus the departure of players like Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones looked to set him up for a big sophomore campaign.

In fact, Cephus was famously the only receiver under contract for a little bit last offseason, though the Lions were always going to add some bodies. The former Badger entered the season right around WR4 on the depth chart and hauled in 15 catches for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns before missing most of the year with a shoulder injury, greatly limiting his opportunity to stand out in a relatively weak receiving corps.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Will Quintez Cephus have a role in 2022?

My answer: Despite being drafted in the fifth round, Cephus is a talented player who looked to have a good shot at a steady role during the back half of his rookie contract. However, it seems like the team is preparing for life without him given its wide receiver revamp in the offseason.

Though DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds may not be in Detroit long-term, they will certainly start the season ahead of Cephus on the depth chart. So too will last year’s breakout, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and first-rounder Jameson Williams will soon be the WR1 when healthy. Cephus is in a battle for even WR5, and anything more than that will be an even bigger challenge.

As fun as it would be to see Cephus break into the starting spots, that seems highly unlikely without an injury or two. Late-round picks are nice stories, but the Lions kind of already achieved that with St. Brown. When it is all said and done, I do not see Cephus making much of an impact this year (or next) in Detroit.

Your turn.