The Detroit Lions suffered a pair of difficult losses on Monday Night Football, losing the game to the Chicago Bears, as well as wide receiver Nate Burleson for the rest of the 2012 NFL season after the wide receiver broke his leg following a third quarter catch in the 13-7 loss. That drops the Lions to just 2-4 with a difficult contest next week against the Seattle Seahawks.
It is no secret that the Lions have taken a step back this season. Quarterback Matthew Stafford appears to be regressing in 2012 after his break out year in 2011. While Detroit still ranks second in the NFL in passing yards through the first seven weeks of the 2012 season, the results are not translating into wins for the team. While Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver on the planet, he cannot do it alone, contrary to popular belief. He needs some help.
Titus Young and Ryan Broyles will be asked to step up their game the rest of this season, but is it enough? Or will the Lions – who Burleson himself said he and his teammates must learn to embrace the hate from the fans and the media – be tempted to keep up their ‘problem child’ persona and consider bringing in Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson for a work out in hopes of adding depth to the wide receiver position?
Of the three, Burress would be the best fit. He has been the least problematic for his team of the three, and he is also a local celebrity after his playing days in college with the Michigan State Spartans. Sure, he is of similar stature compared to Johnson and is not a middle of the field possession receiver like Burleson. But Adding Burress would at least force teams to pay attention to a receiver other than Johnson when the Lions reach the red zone.
Owens and Johnson would add much more baggage. While the Seattle Seahawks said that Owens did everything that was asked of him during Training Camp, they still deemed him unfit to make the team this season. And it is not as if the Seahawks are the deepest team at receiver or an offensive juggernaut.
When it comes to Johnson, it appeared as if he was well on his way to becoming the top receiver for the Miami Dolphins in 2012 from a talent standpoint. He was still learning the offense and always battled immaturity issues, but the speed still seemed to be there as recently as a couple of months ago. Johnson was released more because of his off the field antics than anything.
In all likelihood, the Lions are probably not going to bring in any of these three wide receivers for a work out any time soon, if at all. They will hope that Young can slide up into the No. 2 spot and that Broyles and tight end Brandon Pettigrew will become more involved. But with the way that Stafford has struggled in 2012, it may not be a bad idea to consider adding some more talent around him going forward.