Shark Bites

Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah came off the physically unable to perform list Monday. Ansah missed the 1st 8 days of practice while dealing with what MLive's Kyle Meinke calls an undisclosed injury. Ansah, however, has been working back from spring knee surgery. We're assuming his issue is either the knee or related to it. Ansah returns with plenty of time to get in shape for the regular season. We'll be curious to track his participation the rest of the way.

Lions RB LeGarrette Blount left Sunday's practice early with an undisclosed injury, according to multiple reports. We obviously can't react to this much until we get some details. Blount did, at least, head to the locker room under his own power, according to the Detroit Free Press. Any significant injury for Blount would significantly boost rookie RB Kerryon Johnson's fantasy outlook.

Update: Blount returned to practice Monday. No reason to worry here.

The Lions have opened training camp with DE Ezekiel Ansah on the PUP list and LB Devon Kennard on the non-football injury list. Ansah is still working his way back from spring knee surgery. Detroit has not revealed Kennard's injury, after the free-agent addition worked out with the team in the spring. According to the Detroit Free Press, Kennard is expected to be back before the regular season. We'll see when either player actually returns. The absences of 2 key pass rushers is tough for a defense that ranked 23rd in sack rate last season.

Lions WR Kenny Golladay flashed with 17.0 yards per catch as a rookie, including 5 grabs of 40+ yards. He rolled that momentum into spring workouts, earning praise from the media, coaching staff and teammates. "I saw freakish catches, man," WR Golden Tate said of Golladay's spring. "Some real freakin' freakish catches. Kenny's still a young guy trying to figure it out, but he's moving at a great pace. If he can just keep the mentality he has coming in, he studies, and just tries to get better every day, I'm telling you, this guy can be dominant. He's a WR1 kind of guy." Golladay will open the season as Detroit's #3 WR but could siphon targets from both Tate and Marvin Jones. This is also a Lions offense that's ranked top 12 in passing yards in 8 straight seasons, including a 6th-place finish last year. So there's plenty of production to go around. Highlight Golladay as an upside target in the double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts.

Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter expects WR Kenny Golladay to be a "big part" of the offense this season. “I’m really excited (for Kenny),” Cooter added. “Going from your first year to your second year in this league you can really make some strides. Kenny’s got the ability to do some special things." A 3rd-round rookie last year, Golladay averaged a big 17.0 yards per catch and scored on 3 of his 28 grabs. The 6'4, 218-pounder boasts a 64th percentile SPARQ score, so there's obviously upside here. We'll see if he can carve out a big enough role this season alongside Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, but Golladay is certainly worth a shot at his recent 13th-round ADP.

The Lions selected Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson with the 43rd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Derrius Guice’s slide continues. Johnson was a workhorse for the Tigers last year, carrying 285 times for 1,391 yards and 18 TDs. He caught 24 balls for 194 yards and 2 more scores. Johnson left school with a mediocre 4.8 yards-per-carry average and didn’t overly impress us on film. But he can obviously carry the mail and lands in a solid spot in Detroit. LeGarrette Blount is a 31-year-old on a 1-year deal, Theo Riddick is a pure pass-catcher and Ameer Abdullah has clearly fallen out of favor. Johnson is the odds-on favorite to lead the 2018 backfield in carries, although Riddick limits his pass-catching upside.

Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah is expected to sign his franchise tender this week and join teammates for offseason training, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Ansah missed last week's workouts while reportedly tending to family stuff in Ghana. Signing the franchise tender will then give Ansah and the team until mid-July to agree on a long-term deal. If they don't by the deadline, he'll be eligible for free agency again after the 2018 season. Ansah racked up 12 sacks last season, but delivered most of that production in just 3 games: a 3-sack Week 2 at the Giants, and then another pair of 3-sack outings in the season's final 2 weeks. Otherwise, he spent the year battling knee, back and ankle injuries. Durability as been a consistent issue for Ansah, but he's worth a shot high in DL2 range in IDP leagues if he hits summer healthy. Insurance for fantasy rosters won't be hard to find.

The Lions have signed TE Luke Willson to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Willson never topped 40 targets in 5 seasons in Seattle, but he posted a nice 12.7 yards per catch and 12.4% TD rate. He's a 6'5, 254-pounder who registered a 92nd percentile SPARQ (athleticism) score prior to the 2013 NFL Draft. Willson lands in an intriguing spot with the Lions, who've lost TEs Eric Ebron and Darren Fells this offseason. Willson and 2017 fourth-rounder Michael Roberts are set to compete for snaps and targets.

The Lions have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB LeGarrette Blount, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. Blount will reportedly make $4.5 million, which is $2 million more than he got from the Eagles last year -- coming off an 18-TD season with the Patriots. Blount figures to join a backfield committee that retains Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. With Riddick the primary pass-catcher, it's tough to find a significant role for Abdullah. Blount's OK in the Round 9 area of best-ball drafts right now.

S Tavon Wilson has signed a 2-year, $7 million deal to stay in Detroit, NFL Network reports. That positions him to continue starting next to Glover Quin. Wilson hasn't been anything special as an IDP contributor but scored like a DB3 in terms of fantasy football points per game last year.

The Lions have officially named Matt Patricia their new HC. Patricia has spent the past 14 seasons with the Patriots, starting as an offensive assistant and finishing as the DC for the last 6 years. This will be his 1st head-coaching gig at any level. Patricia is expected to retain OC Jim Bob Cooter, which is good news for QB Matt Stafford and the passing game. The Lions need to find a running game this offseason.

The Lions have fired HC Jim Caldwell. He compiled a 36-28 record in 4 seasons in Detroit but never advanced past the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. 2nd-year GM Bob Quinn will get to bring in a new HC but is tentatively expected to retain OC Jim Bob Cooter, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That's good news for QB Matt Stafford and the rest of the offense.

Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) is off the final injury report after a full week of practice. He should remain Detroit’s lead back against the Bengals on Sunday. Riddick has totaled 27 carries and 14 catches over the past 3 weeks.

Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) put in a full practice on Wednesday. He'll be ready to go for this weekend's game against the Bengals. Riddick has racked up 27 carries and 14 catches over the past 3 weeks and should continue to serve as Detroit's lead back.

Lions RB Theo Riddick left in the 4th quarter of Saturday's win over the Bears with a wrist injury. The team has yet to provide further details, but it's a worrisome issue given that Riddick had surgery on both wrists last offseason. Before exiting, he continued to work as Detroit's top back. Riddick played all 30 of the team's 1st-half offensive snaps and finished with 8 carries for 49 yards plus 3 catches (on 3 targets) for 12 yards. Tion Green carried another 10 times for 35 yards, while Ameer Abdullah garnered just 1 rush -- plus 3 catches -- in his return from a neck injury. We'll see about Riddick's status heading into a Week 16 trip to Cincinnati.

Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) is active for today's game against the Bears. He's playing through a "questionable" tag as he has for most of the season. Ansah has dramatically improved his production over the past 3 weeks and should be in IDP lineups where he makes sense.

Lions RB Ameer Abdullah is active for today's game against the Bears, as expected. He missed the past 2 games while dealing with a neck injury, but Week 14 reports suggested Abdullah could have played and was more a healthy scratch. His return clouds an already-murky backfield that would be better to avoid in fantasy if you can.

Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) is questionable once again for Saturday's game against the Bears. He has spent most of the year playing through questionable tags and put in his best stretch of work over the past 3 weeks. Play Ansah in your IDP lineup as long as he's active.

Lions HC Jim Caldwell expects RB Ameer Abdullah to play against the Bears on Saturday. "I do, as long as things keep trending in the right direction," were Caldwell's exact words. Abdullah was reportedly a healthy scratch last week and would be returning to an uncertain role. Of course, he'd also make RB Theo Riddick tougher to trust in fantasy lineups.

11:12am EST 12/10/17

Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) is active for today's game against the Buccaneers. He carries some upside but also a low floor amid a mostly terrible season.

 
 
 

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