The Detroit Lions are dealing with quite a few injuries early in the 2021 season, and the bug has once again struck a few of the thinner spots on their roster with abandon.
This week, the Lions revealed they would be placing wideout Tyrell Williams on injured reserve with his concussion. Williams missed this week’s game with the ailment, and clearly, did not progress enough in protocol to make a Week 3 return. The team also placed kicker Austin Seibert on the reserve/COVID-19 list, clouding his status for the week.
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So who could kick for the Lions in his place? That’s none other than Ryan Santoso, who is currently on the Detroit practice squad and could be elevated if need be on Sunday. If that happens, it means Santoso is more than likely to be the team’s kicker for a Week 3 battle against the Baltimore Ravens.
As a whole, Seibert has been fairly consistent since he joined the team, nailing a 43 yard kick this past week and also hitting on all of his extra points since being named Detroit’s kicker. Santoso, for his part, is perfect as well, going 2-2 in the opening week of the season with the Carolina Panthers.
The hope for the Lions is Seibert is back quickly, but Santoso could now get a chance to make his case to the team this weekend.
Lions Have Wideouts Who Could Compensate for Loss of Tyrell Williams
Obviously, the Lions have weapons on the roster they can use to compensate for the loss of Williams now that he has to be sidelined into the near future. Detroit doesn’t have to panic and sign anyone else even though Williams is out, because they have several players capable of becoming a force for the team while he is sidelined.
Obviously, Williams being out will put a premium on others now stepping up. Perhaps the player most primed for this would be Quintez Cephus, who showed major signs of a breakout after a few nice plays during the first two weeks of the season including a touchdown against Green Bay. Detroit also hopes to get more out of Trinity Benson, and could see Amon-Ra St. Brown introduced more prominently into the game plan. It’s possible the Lions could also try wideout KhaDarel Hodge as well. Hodge has been slow to start, but may be pressed into duty after buying him time to acclimate into the offensive playbook.
Simply put, the Lions are going to have to see some other wideouts step up and make some plays now without Williams.
Santoso Returns to Lions After Wild Trip Around NFL
Many might forget that the Lions had Santoso in camp last season as a punter and kicker, but elected to let him go. He wasn’t able to make the roster with Jack Fox and Matt Prater entrenched at the position, so he went elsewhere. Santoso’s route back to Detroit was an intriguing one. He signed with the Tennessee Titans last year and played in three games racking up 1,018 yards and 9 touchbacks as a kickoff specialist. From there, he landed with the New York Giants, and though he kicked well, did not earn the job out of camp. He was spun off to the Panthers again via trade, but did not stick as the kicker. He then was signed to the Titans practice squad. The Lions added him to their practice squad to account for losing Zane Gonzalez.
From his time at Minnesota in college, Santoso has been seen to have a big leg. He was 76-77 in college on extra points and 29-39 on kicks. He also doubled as the team’s punter. Here’s some of his work from his college pro-day:
Santoso could be the next man up for the Lions at a spot which has been a revolving door for the Lions this season already.