Friday, February 21, 2014
Lions bringing back Ross, Durham
By Michael Rothstein
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Detroit Lions' receiving corps was bolstered a little bit more Friday, as general manager Martin Mayhew said the team will bring back Jeremy Ross and Kris Durham, who were exclusive rights free agents.
After an injury to Nate Burleson and overall ineffective play from Patrick Edwards, Durham was elevated to a starting wide receiver opposite Calvin Johnson for the majority of the season. Durham played in 16 games, making 38 catches for 490 yards and two touchdowns last season. He has good familiarity with quarterback Matthew Stafford from their shared time at Georgia.
Ross emerged as a return threat for Detroit after he was bumped up from the practice squad in October. He was one of Mayhew's better signings throughout the season, as he grabbed Ross off the waiver wire after he was released by Green Bay.
He turned into the team's primary kick and punt returner, returning both a punt and a kick for a touchdown against Philadelphia in Week 14.
"I think he did a good job for us last season," Mayhew said. "He didn't have quite enough returns to get into some of the categories with the leaders. I guess his stats don't really show up. If he had a handful more returns, he would be one of the top punt returners in the NFL right now.
"So he's a very talented guy. He's young. He had upside. He's still growing. We might add to that (return) group. We might add there."
Among the guys Mayhew pointed to were practice squad running back Steven Miller and utility guy Carlin Isles, who has not decided whether he will give up football for rugby. Mayhew also didn't rule out adding a player through the draft or free agency as competition for Ross.