“DETROIT!! Excited and thankful for this opportunity!!” Peoples-Jones wrote on October 31. By the next day, it had received more than 1,000 comments.
The Lions posted Peoples-Jones’ image on the team’s X (formerly Twitter) account. The tweet received more than 100,000 views.
Peoples-Jones attended Cass Tech High School, near downtown Detroit. He played college football at the University of Michigan.
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones Coming Home to Play for Lions
The 24-year-old had lived his entire life in Michigan before the Browns drafted him at No. 187 overall in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL draft.
He made the Browns roster as a rookie. By 2021, he was emerging as a significant contributor in Cleveland’s offense. Peoples-Jones posted 597 receiving yards with a 17.6 yards per catch average in 2021.
Last season, he recorded a career-high 61 receptions for 839 yards. He also had 3 touchdowns in both 2021 and 2022.
But this season, Peoples-Jones had failed to find chemistry with Deshaun Watson or P.J. Walker, finishing his season with Browns fifth on the team with 8 receptions and 97 receiving yards.
He had just one game this season with more than 2 catches.
Detroit’s WR Depth After NFL Trade Deadline
Peoples-Jones has been both a possession receiver and big-play threat in his college and NFL careers. He could fill either role, providing depth across the board for the Lions wide receiver corps.
The Lions lost veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. when he announced last week that he would leave the team to attend to a personal matter. That made finding a receiver at the trade deadline necessary for Detroit.
“I always feel like you’re one injury away,” Campbell said after the trade. “That was a position we felt like if we could find a steady, reliable guy that fits us that could play outside that was something that we wanted to look and see if we could acquire.
“DPJ (People-Jones) out there we felt like really fit us. He fits our style. He’s smart and he can play multiple positions. He plays everything for them out there. We just feel like he’ll be a good fit.”
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and tight end Sam LaPorta will continue to be quarterback Jared Goff’s favorite targets. Fellow receiver Josh Reynolds has been a solid complement to St. Brown, posting 18 yards per catch and 3 touchdowns this season.
But Detroit is likely hoping to get more production from its depth receivers during the second half of the season. Second-year wideout Jameson Williams has shown flashes but only has 6 receptions in four games. Kalif Raymond is the only other receiver on the active roster with more than 10 targets.
Peoples-Jones will likely compete with Raymond and Williams for offensive snaps. The Lions also have wideout Antoine Green on the active roster.