The hits keep coming for the Detroit Lions in 2021 on the injury front, and now, their top wideout has proven not even he is immune from the bad luck.
On Sunday, Cephus left the game in the first half after a big gain when he was ridden hard out of bounds and landed awkwardly on his shoulder. Cehpus never returned to the game, and the news was bad about his status on Monday afternoon.
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Unfortunately for the Lions, Cephus was revealed to be dealing with a broken collar bone on Monday, October 11. NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero revealed the news, and said that it would be an extended absence for Cephus which might also become season-ending.
When Cephus didn’t return to action in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings, it was about the best sign that the Lions were dealing with something that was bad. After the game on October 10, Dan Campbell told reporters that Cephus was dealing with a bad injury, but didn’t speculate past that.
As Pelissero also reported, Cehpus was set to undergo surgery and was facing a three-month absence, meaning the wideout is likely to be lost for the season barring an unexpected playoff push in the second half by Detroit.
Clearly, the team is dealing with injuries on multiple fronts having lost cornerback Jeff Okudah and linebacker Romeo Okwara to major Achilles ailments and linemen Frank Ragnow (toe) and Taylor Decker (hand) as well. This will be yet another roadblock for the team as they chase their first win of the year.
Lions’ Wideout Depth Will Get Tested Minus Cephus
The unfortunate part for the Lions revolves around the fact that Cephus had emerged as the team’s top wide receiver in the last few weeks. This season, he was playing well for Detroit, and had collected a total of 22 receptions for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. Without Cephus, a major question for the team will be who picks up the slack. In terms of Detroit’s wideouts, the Lions have a major drop after Cephus. Wideouts Kalif Raymond and (182 yards) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (178 yards) lead the team statistically. Detroit will also be hoping for Trinity Benson and KhaDarel Hodge to raise their game without Cephus holding things down. Potentially, they will look in-house to Tom Kennedy.
In terms of pass catching elsewhere, the Lions can probably depend on names like T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift to pick up the slack, being that both have over 200 yards receiving to their credit. Detroit may have to consider adding a free agent from the outside to the wideout group.
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.