Lions Add Explosive Return Man to Roster, Release Stud UDFA

Darius Jennings

Getty Darius Jennings gestures during a Titans game in 2019.

The Detroit Lions continue to hunt for players to chip in on offense, and on Monday, made another roster move designed to help out their pursuit of that.

In a slew of roster moves on Monday, the Lions revealed that they were adding another new face to the wideout room in addition to getting a new face back on defense while also releasing one of their early undrafted free agent standouts from the roster.

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On Monday, August 9, the Lions revealed they had brought linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin back off the COVID-19/reserve list and released center Drake Jackson. The team also revealed they had signed wideout Darius Jennings as a free agent.

The addition of Jennings is a particularly intriguing one for the team at this point in time. Detroit has needed wideouts all offseason long given some of the major changes that have played out at the position, and adding another player into the mix that can help is an intriguing way to get a look at improving the spot in the best way possible.

While the release of Jackson is a bit confusing given some of the love he had received after joining the team, the fact of the matter is the Lions are loaded at center, so he probably had no path to the roster soon. The opposite could be said for Jennings, who could be worth a look for a Lions team that is in need of some major playmaking.

Jennings’ Career Stats and Highlights

At 29, Jennings does have plenty of time left in the league to make an imprint, and he hasn’t wasted any time in doing so during some of his other stops. In 2015, he broke into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia, and landed with the Cleveland Browns. from 2015 to 2016. From there, Jennings made his way to the Chicago Bears and New York Jets, where he was a member of the practice squad. In 2017, he latched on with the Tennessee Titans, which is where he made his biggest impact in the league thus far. While Jennings hasn’t produced as a receiver, he has opened eyes as a return man. With the Titans, he ripped off 894 return yards and 1 touchdown in a pair of seasons.

Here’s a look at some highlights

Darius Jennings Tennessee Titans HighlightsAll Rights to the Tennessee Titans Organization and The NFL2018-10-01T04:57:23Z

Darius Jennings returns opening kickoff for 58 yardsTennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings returns the opening kickoff for 58 yards.2018-11-12T00:10:40Z

Jennings departed Tennessee and signed with the Los Angeles Chargers for 2020, but never really made a huge imprint there. The good news for him is that a chance exists for him to do just that in Detroit. With only 27 career receptions, look for Jackson to make most of his plays as a returner.

Lions’ Return Role Looking Wide Open Thus Far

The addition of Jennings, who has done some things on special teams early in his career, proves that the team could have things far from settles in the return game. Not only could Kalif Raymond and Victor Bolden compete for reps, but the team figures to have a wide open competition at the spot. A player like undrafted free agent rookie D’Angelo Amos. In college, Amos was a prolific returner with over 1,500 yards to his credit and 5 touchdowns. Those numbers are eye-opening, and will at the very least guarantee that Amos is given a look at the job as well. Others on Detroit’s roster have return experience, including wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tom Kennedy. Clearly, Bolden is a player to watch for the Lions in camp as they get set to watch a battle to see who will be in the mix for the full-time role.

Thus far, the Lions have a wide open competition for this place on the roster. Jennings seems to be the next man up for the Lions to try.

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