LIONS INSIDER

Ebron eager to get back on the field, help offense

Posted Aug 29, 2016

After watching preseason games from the sideline, tight end Eric Ebron is eager to get back on the field.

It has pained Eric Ebron to sit back and watch the Lions’ first-team offense struggle to score points this preseason while he's a bystander due to injury.

Ebron had a great offseason by all indications, and was having a terrific mock game on Aug. 6 at Ford Field before he suffered a leg injury and had to be carted off the field.

Before the injury occurred during the mock game, he and Stafford connected on a number of big plays in a two-minute drive, including a 30-yard pass down the seam that led to a Lions touchdown.

The Lions’ first-team offense has failed to score a touchdown in nine preseason possessions. Protections issues, penalties, turnovers and missed opportunities to make a play have plagued that unit through the first three games.

Ebron thinks injury, notably his injury, has also played a factor. He said he needs to get back on the field.

“What I am doing right now is kind of hurting us. Because (the offense) is not as good as we can be, or we're not relieving as much stress off Matt (Stafford) as I could, as far as my abilities in the slot position or playing tight end.

“It’s kind of rough. That hurt the hell out of me. Just not being there and watching all these preseason games. It sucks.”

Ebron is coming off a season in which he showed tremendous growth over his rookie campaign. He caught 47 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns, at times showing glimpses of the special talent he can be both running after the catch and stretching the field from that position.

The Lions are a little thin at tight end with Ebron out and Brandon Pettigrew still on the PUP list recovering from knee surgery. Undrafted rookie Cole Wick from Incarnate Word has been running with the first-team offense the last three weeks since Ebron went down.

There’s been no timetable given for Ebron’s return to the field, but when that day comes, it will certainly be a big boost for this offense.

“I’m just going to go out there and do what I do best,” Ebron said. “Try to make plays and try to be a playmaker for our team.

“That’s what I had been doing – until obviously the situation that happened that day. So just pick back up where I left off.”