The Detroit Lions lost another game on Sunday, but cornerback Darius Slay remained classy to the end in terms of his gestures.
Late in Sunday’s 38-17 loss, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting picked off a pass from David Blough and took it to the house. The play helped put the game on ice as the Lions were attempting a late comeback, and sealed the deal for the Buccaneers to get to 7-7. It was a notable moment for Murphy-Bunting given he had grown up in Detroit and made his mark at nearby Central Michigan University.
Slay, who is never one to shy away from a kind gesture, especially to a young defensive back, surprised Murphy-Bunting with a personalized jersey after the game. Here’s a look at what Slay handed out to the youngster.
Naturally, Slay chatted with Murphy-Bunting after the game over Twitter and gave him another shout out, to which the young cornerback responded to gleefully.
This is a special connection given Murphy-Bunting grew up watching and idolizing Slay. Now he’s in the league making plays against the Detroit cornerback and his team and getting shout outs along the way in his home state.
It’s a story which is almost too good to believe.
Darius Slay’s 2019 Lions Stats
This season, Slay has fought through injuries and inconsistencies. He’s collected 38 tackles and 2 interceptions. It’s been far from a career year in terms of the numbers, but obviously, Slay remains one of the best shutdown corners in the entire league. Those who go against him struggle to get theirs in terms of big plays, and as a whole, Slay does a great job limiting the opposition’s best players along the way. That can hurt the stat line, but his play has been no less valuable for a Lions’ defensive backfield which has struggled most of the 2019 season.
Darius Slay a big Play Player
Slay has been elite since being a second round draft pick of the Lions back in 2013, and has developed into one of the elite shut down corners in the entire league. He’s also a star for the Lions in the community, and arguably, is one of the top faces of the franchise at this point in time.
This past offseason, Slay missed the OTA period for Detroit amid wanting a new contract. While the Lions haven’t worked anything out with him, they also haven’t closed the door on making his re-signing a priority in the future, meaning a trade is possible if the team wants to move on. Slay also had a strong reaction to the team dealing Quandre Diggs for a draft pick a few weeks ago.
There’s simply no doubting the importance of him to the team in both the short and the long term. It’s neat to always see one of the elite players in the league continue to connect with the next generation, even when he himself has lost a game in tough fashion.