Lions Receiver Should Be Considered Roster Lock After Day 1 of Camp

Quintez Cephus

Getty Quintez Cephus makes a catch in a 2020 game.

Training camp has only been a single day old for the Detroit Lions, and already, the team may have seen a key roster spot manage to get locked down.

Wideout Quintez Cephus, who was limited much of last season with a collarbone injury, announced his presence in a big way with a major opening statement on the first day of camp, and it should have been enough for him to win a job for 2022 when combined with some other variables.

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During practice on Wednesday, July 27, Cephus was spotted making another sterling catch, this one over star Detroit cornerback Amani Oruwariye. Cephus went up and pulled the ball in with a great arm catch, turning a possible incompletion into a big play:

A camp competition should never get called as a result of one big play, but this is an example of the exception to the rule when considering the whole picture. Cephus has embraced competition and managed to keep his own game elite in the process. He simply keeps making good things happen. That speaks to a player that has significant breakout ability, much less one who should be off any perceived roster bubble.

While Cephus could be locked in a battle with a similarly motivated Trinity Benson, Detroit could find a way to keep both players if they want. Consider Cephus the first lock given what he has already shown.


Cephus Offers Lions Some Rare Ball Skills

As this catch showed, Cephus has the potential to turn in some impressive plays down the field. More than one catch, it’s been a body of work that Cephus has displayed which proves this. During offseason workouts in June, Cephus was turning in the eye-opening plays as well:

He isn’t just a practice warrior, however. Cephus has made some good things happen in games. During his rookie season, Cephus hauled in an impressive deep bomb in Chicago. Last season, he made a beautiful touchdown grab in Green Bay:


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A goal for the Lions this offseason was injecting some more big-play ability into the offense. Certainly, players like DJ Chark and eventually Jameson Williams will offer the team this at wide receiver, but it’s more than possible they already had a major element of it with Cephus. Unfortunately due to injury, folks might not have remembered until now.


Chemistry With Jared Goff Significant for Cephus

Perhaps the best reason Cephus should already be a roster lock? The way he wasted no time meshing with Jared Goff last season when the quarterback was making his Detroit debut. While it took others time to get established within a clunky, new offense, Cephus was busy making plays for Goff from start until his finish.

Through the first five games of 2021, Cephus looked like a man possessed. He put up 204 yards on 15 targets during that span, and cashed in 2 touchdowns as well as a two-point conversion. When Cephus went down, he was easily the top pass catcher the team was featuring. The loss of Cephus not only hurt his own development at the time, but may have stunted the progression of the Detroit offense. It would have been interesting to see how both parties trended had injury not intervened.

Now, it seems the receiver has made up for lost time. Typically, roster battles evolve slowly as camp plays out. It’s already clear in late July that Cephus needs to be a part of Detroit’s passing attack in 2022, no matter what that might mean for anyone else.

READ NEXT: Great Camp Prediction Made for Aidan Hutchinson

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