LIONS INSIDER

Ebron talks OPI penalty, one-handed catch

Posted Sep 19, 2016

Tight end Eric Ebron weighed in on the phantom offensive pass interference penalty and his one-handed catch in the locker room Monday afternoon.

Eric Ebron should have two touchdowns on the season, one in each of the Detroit Lions’ first two games.

The reality is that he has just one – a 6-yarder from quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 1 – after his 1-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of Sunday’s 16-15 loss to the Titans was wiped off the board due to a phantom offensive pass interference penalty.

Ebron was flagged for pushing off on safety Da’Norris Searcy right before the catch, but replays showed that while Ebron might have placed his hand on the defender, he certainly did not push off or impede Searcy’s ability to make a play on the ball.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said during his Monday press conference that Ebron shouldn’t have been flagged on the play. The Lions eventually were forced to kick a field goal on the drive.

“I didn’t think so, but I’m not making the call either,” Caldwell said when asked if he believed Ebron should have been flagged. “Also thought he should’ve called the penalty on Matthew (Stafford) with the low hit, that’s how it goes, we don’t make any excuses about anything.

“That’s the thing that I think all too often, teams that lose end up talking about, ‘What if,’ and all that kind of stuff. We’ve got to make our own breaks.”

But Ebron still seemed pretty perturbed about the call in the locker room Monday afternoon.

“Caldwell and the other 66,000 fans (didn’t think it was a penalty),” Ebron said when asked about it Monday afternoon during open locker room.

“Let’s be realistic. We all saw the same thing and it is what it is. The refs made a call that they believe what it was and we have to live with it and deal with it.”

That OPI call overshadowed an otherwise pretty good game for Ebron, as he continued his steady play to begin the season.

He caught four passes for 53 yards, including a terrific one-handed, behind the back grab for 29 yards on a 3rd and 19 play on the team’s final drive as they tried to get into field goal range for a game-winning kick. The play set the Lions up at their own 45 with 38 seconds left, but Stafford would throw an interception to end the game three plays later.

“I just made a play, man,” Ebron said of the 29-yard catch. “I just played football. Try to make a play for the team and try to get us to where we needed to be.”

Ebron has nine catches for 99 yards and one touchdown with no drops over the first two weeks of the season. He and the Lions are probably wishing he had an even 100 yards receiving with two touchdowns.