‘Really Close:’ Lions Get Good News on Injured Starter

Kenny Golladay Matthew Stafford

Getty Kenny Golladay celebrates with Matthew Stafford.

The Detroit Lions haven’t had Kenny Golladay for the first few weeks of the 2020 season, but that could be changing very soon.

Golladay, who hasn’t practiced or played much at all this season, is inching ever closer to a return for the team. In fact, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported, the Lions are hoping to have Golladay back by Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, as Matt Patricia put it to Pelissero, Golladay is “really close” to coming back on the field.

Golladay has been missing with a hamstring injury for the last few weeks, but the Lions have been being responsible with him and trying not to make the injury worse by forcing Golladay to play. So far, it looks like that has paid off if they can get him back next week.

It’s some good news in what has been a tough start to the season in Detroit in terms of health.

Kenny Golladay Projected for Huge 2020

After a few solid seasons since being drafted into the league, Golladay appeared to grow by leaps and bounds in 2019. All of that only sets the stage for what could be to come this year. According to Pro Football Focus, Golladay is going to be one of the most productive wideouts in the game this coming season, racking up 1,405 receiving yards. That would represent a top 3 total in the league.

Golladay is a player the Lions need to build around for the future, and his ability to make huge plays in the passing game is a major reason why. He’s developed well since the Lions drafted him and Golladay is a home grown talent in the truest sense.

A season like this might just propel the Lions forward in the biggest and best possible ways offensively.

Kenny Golladay’s 2019 Stats

From nearly the start of the season until the finish, Golladay had an excellent year catching the ball. So far, he’s put up 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s had some huge games last season, and four times Golladay has gone well over 100 yards in a game catching the ball for the Lions. His ball skills are a big reason why.

In total, Golladay has enjoyed arguably the best start to a career of any wideout in his 2017 draft class not named JuJu Smith-Schuster. With 2,730 yards and 19 touchdowns thus far in his career coming into the 2020 season on the field, Golladay looks like an obvious top dog in Detroit for the foreseeable future with Matthew Stafford tossing him the rock. That’s good news for the Lions, who have long pondered how to find production at the wideout position minus Calvin Johnson. Not an issue anymore with Golladay taking over.

Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Amongst NFL Elite

Recently, Pro Football Focus put together a list of the top wideout groups in the NFL 1-32. Detroit’s group, which is led by Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, ended up placing No. 6 on the list, safely within the top 10 in the league.

Writer Ben Linsey likes what he sees from the group, as he wrote in the piece:

“The duo of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. may be underrated around the league, but both guys can win in a number of ways, and they excel in contested-catch situations. Golladay ranks fifth in contested catches since 2017 (49) while Jones ranks eighth (42), and both have top-10 contested-catch rates among qualifiers. Danny Amendola remains a solid option in the slot at 34 years old after earning a 71.5 overall grade in 2019, and there’s reason to believe T.J. Hockenson will take a step forward as a receiver in his second season given how effective he was at Iowa. The addition of the best receiving running back in the class — D’Andre Swift — only bolsters the group.”

The Lions have players not only at wideout but other spots ready and willing to jump into the mix and help. That’s the mark of a solid team that has some excellent depth, and is a major reason the Lions might have one of the best groups in the entire league.

Golladay himself might help drive the bus toward the team’s ascension with a season like this. It’s just another big reason why he has been missed.

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