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Craig Reynolds wasn’t even supposed to be on the field for 4th down touchdown vs. Bucs

Sometimes it’s all about being in the right spot at the wrong time, and Craig Reynolds wasn’t going to let anything—or anyone—stop him in his moment against the Buccaneers.

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs will remain memorable for plenty of reasons. The victory propelled Detroit to just their second NFC Conference Championship game in the team’s history, the crowd inside Ford Field was the loudest it had ever been for the second week in a row, and there were highlight reel plays made by depth players like Brock Wright and Derrick Barnes, guys who have been around since the beginning of the Dan Campbell era. But there was one play made by another one of those players who fit that bill that shouldn’t have even been on the field when his moment happened.

On this week’s installment of the 33rd Team’s “The St. Brown Bros” podcast, Lions wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown talked with Equanimeous St. Brown, his brother and Chicago Bears wide receiver, about a wide range of topics from Detroit’s latest playoff win. At the 13:30 mark, the St. Brown brothers discussed the touchdown that wasn’t supposed to happen from Lions running back Craig Reynolds.

“Bro, you know what’s crazy? He wasn’t even supposed to be in,” Amon-Ra St. Brown said about Reynolds touchdown that gave the Lions a 17-10 lead in the game. “Bruh, we had a different—the personnel got messed up.”

Amon-Ra explained that after the Lions didn’t convert on third down, he was on the sideline waiting for Dan Campbell to make the call to go for it, and when he did, they called for 12 personnel—one running back, two tight ends, and two wide receivers.

“I go in and then they change it to 12-Saint, which makes me go to X [receiver] and I think J-Rey [Josh Reynolds] go to Z,” St. Brown explained. “So at that point, they’re probably changing the play in the headset. And then Craig comes running onto the field, I’m like ‘Damn, okay,’ and I’m thinking it’s one play that we practice and it’s a different play and I’m like, ‘Okay, this play works, this is the 12-Saint play where I motion.’”

As Amon-Ra got ready to be sent into motion, he explains how Reynolds’ white cleats caught his attention out of his peripheral vision.

“David [Montgomery] and Jahmyr [Gibbs] don’t wear white cleats. I’m like, it was just a quick thought in my head like, ‘Who’s in the backfield?’” St. Brown wondered. “So I’m just going for the motion, he [Jared Goff] sends me on the motion, I go in my motion, I look back at the play, I see Craig [Reynolds] get the ball on the handoff on the 1-yard line.”

“He hit that bitch so hard, I’m like, ‘Oh my god, Craig, you wanted that bad, huh?’” St. Brown recounted. “He’s [Craig Reynolds] like, ‘Bro, no one was stopping me,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I mean, you got that shit crazy.’”

Despite the wrong personnel being on the field, Reynolds made the most of his moment and opportunity, and the mixup only adds to the lore of one of the most memorable plays from Detroit’s playoff run this season.

[Check out the rest of the “St. Brown Bros” podcast this week to catch an interview with Lions legend Calvin Johnson, including topics ranging from his favorite musicians, living in Michigan and snowboading, and the keys to a Lions victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.]

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