The Detroit Lions have struggled to unleash some of their rookies this season, and perhaps surprisingly, the one player they managed to get into the end zone was a running back.
Against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, October 31, Jermar Jefferson managed to score. While the play did nothing for the Lions in the game considering the lopsided 44-6 final, it did help Jefferson’s confidence on the field and get the rookie some good feelings in his first year and his first start.
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Speaking to the media on Monday, November 1 in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, Jefferson was asked about his feelings scoring the only touchdown of the game. As he said, it was a complicated play since the Lions trailed in a big way, yet still an exciting moment.
“It felt great. I would say my feelings are 50-50 because (of) the scoreboard, but me scoring at the same time so it was like up and down. But at the same time it was great getting my fist NFL touchdown. I had chills after. I’m like ‘wow this is crazy.’ The one thing, I think I left the ball there, (Trinity Benson) and Amon-Ra (St. Brown) was like ‘hey get the ball bro, this is your first NFL touchdown.’ I forgot, so I grabbed it.”
The play was nice as well, and showed off Jefferson’s speed and vision. The shifty back managed to make a nice cut and show off his straight line speed en-route to the end zone. Here’s a look at the score:
As for what will happen to the ball, Jefferson said he will be presenting it to his father eventually.
“I’m probably going to give it to my dad. He was the first one to ask for it, he was like ‘I need the game ball from your first touchdown’ so I’ll just give it to him,” he said with a smile.
It’s a special moment that won’t soon be forgotten by Jefferson, even if he almost made a big mistake not securing the game ball properly.
Jefferson Reacts to Slow Start to NFL Career
Though he was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, Jefferson made the Lions out of training camp, and showed plenty of burst during the preseason in order to make a name for himself. The first few weeks of the season, Jefferson has been stuck and has often been a healthy scratch for the Lions. Still, he hasn’t lost his patience at all, even sitting behind D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
“You know me, I love football so much, so it was a little frustrating for me at first,” Jefferson admitted to the media. “But I talked to my coaches a lot like Duce Staley and he was just saying be patient. You never know when your time is up, so when ever your name is called, be ready and stay ready. That’s what I did.”
As a whole, Jefferson deserves credit for sticking to the plan and making sure he was ready. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if he gets more of a chance to play given his touchdown and the work that he has put in to this point in time.
Jefferson’s Stats & Highlights
Jefferson had some impressive stats running for Oregon State coming into the NFL, putting up 2,923 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career. He also has 299 receiving yards and 2 scores through the air. Those numbers are pretty decent for Jefferson, who could be a productive and solid player given what he did.
Here’s a look at his highlights:
Obviously, Jefferson has plenty of talent to rely on. Whether or not he gets a chance to continue to showcase it to the Lions remains to be seen, but he has shown a fast nose for the end zone. For a team with scoring problems like Detroit, that could be big in the second half of the season.