The Detroit Lions have gotten a bit healthier in recent weeks, but even in spite of that, the team continues to see more bad news in the injury spectrum.
Not only is running back D’Andre Swift’s injury worse than first thought, but the team will now officially be without two more players for the stretch run of their season, and both are at key spots on the team.
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Speaking to the media before practice on Friday, December 3, head coach Dan Campbell was asked about the status of kicker Austin Seibert as well as wide receiver Quintez Cephus. As the coach said, it isn’t wise to expect either one of them back this year.
“No, he won’t be, he’ll be done for this year,” Campbell confirmed when asked about Seibert, also adding that it would be “highly unlikely” to see Cephus back catching passes later on this month.
In spite of that, the coach said that he is encouraged by the pair for the future, and even made mention of next season.
“Both of those players we feel very good about in 2022, being healed up,” Campbell said.
Finding a fill-in for Seibert has gone a bit easier for the Lions than finding someone to catch passes for Cephus, though the team did tie a game by virtue of Ryan Santoso’s errant kicking in Pittsburgh. As of now, Aldrick Rosas is manning the position, and has made 1 field goal and 1 extra point for Detroit since taking over for Santoso. The team also has Riley Patterson on the practice squad.
At receiver, Detroit hasn’t found anyone to step up like Cephus had, so they are likely to keep struggling the rest of the way. Regardless, don’t plan on seeing either player the rest of the way for Detroit.
Seibert’s Career Stats & Highlights
After a solid four-year career with the Oklahoma Sooners which culminated in first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2018 and an FBS record 499 career points, Seibert was a fifth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2019.
After a solid 25-29 first season, Seibert was waived after a tough start to his 2020 season, but latched on with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he stayed the rest of the 2020 season and hit 6 of 8 field goals. He stuck into training camp of 2021. After losing the job there, the Lions picked Seibert up to kick for them, and he has been solid thus far, hitting 10 of 11 kicks for the Lions in Detroit.
Seibert has a powerful leg, something he often showed off in college. Here’s a look at one of his better kicks this season when he drilled a 43 yarder on the road.
The Lions will now have to hope that Seibert can heal up in time to lock down the position for 2022.
Cephus Career Stats and Highlights
In college, Cephus put up a solid 1,496 yards and 9 touchdowns in a run-heavy Wisconsin Badgers offense. He’s a player that has some potential which is obvious given the numbers he put up and his work ethic and body type. So far in the NFL, Cephus has put up 349 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 career receptions without much run at all. He was a healthy scratch at times last season, but it’s clear those days could be over.
Cephus didn’t have a fast run at the NFL Combine running in the 4.7’s, but improved things during his early pro day with Wisconsin. More than the speed, it’s the ability of Cephus to run good routes and make solid catches which impresses. As a result of that, he could be a solid pro who sticks in the league in time if he is able to take care of his business.
Here’s a look at some top Cephus highlights from his rookie year in the league:
Detroit has seen more plays like this as Cephus has come along in 2021, and the hope is Cephus can rehab and return to health soon to continue on his bright path. At the very least, it sounds as if that will be the case with both of these injured players.