Lions downplay Kenny Golladay injury but fans, fantasy owners should take notice

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 14: Kenny Golladay #19 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 14: Kenny Golladay #19 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Kenny Golladay didn’t practice today due to a hamstring injury that could limit his availability in the season-opener vs. the Chicago Bears.

In what turned out to be an unthinkably unlucky season for Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions, wide receiver Kenny Golladay emerged as one of the best wideouts in football because of his ability to secure contested catches at a rate few in the league can match. While Golladay and the new-look Lions offense have big plans for 2020, Golladay might need to wait a little bit before he makes his season debut.

Golladay injured his hamstring in practice on Wednesday and was held out if drills on Thursday, putting his Week 1 availability against the Chicago Bears in question. Darrell Bevell’s air attack would have almost all of the juice sucked out of it against a stingy Bears defense if Golladay is unable to go.

Patricia downplayed the injury, via Detroit Free Press, “Just for us it was just something that happened yesterday and we were just trying to make sure we did a good job taking a look at it,”

Kenny Golladay has become one of the best wide receivers in the game

Despite playing half of the 2019 season with Jeff Driskell checking it down every other pass and a guy in David Blough who looked like he was throwing medicine balls instead of footballs, Golladay roped in 65 catches for 1,190 yards and a league-best 11 touchdown receptions. The 11 scores and 18.3 yards per catch established Golladay as an elite red-zone option and Matthew Stafford‘s preferred deep threat.

Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are the two most likely options to take up Golladay’s targets if he has to miss time. 2020 fifth-round pick Quintez Cephus, who impressed Patricia in practice, could also line up outside if Patricia wants to keep Amendola in the slot.

Golladay might not have the hype that many top receivers carry, likely by virtue of both playing in Detroit and playing on a bad team, but his production in a bad offense last year firmly puts him in the upper tier of NFL receivers. If the Lions want to get rid of the stink that 2019 left on them and challenge for the division title, they’ll need to get Golladay back to full strength.

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