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'He always shows up:' Raymond a steady & productive player for Lions

Practice was over for the day in the Detroit Lions' latest OTA workout Thursday, but wide receiver Kalif Raymond still had more work to do.

First was an extended period catching punts, to make up for what in his judgment was a bad workout the previous day.

After that was a long session catching passes from the Jugs machine.

By the time he finished the extended portion of his workout, Raymond was the only player left on the practice field at the Lions headquarters in Allen Park.

It was a typical offseason work day for Raymond, who has become an important player for the Lions in his two seasons as a wide receiver and punt returner.

View photos from Day 5 of Detroit Lions OTA practice on Thursday, June 1, 2023 in Allen Park, Mich.

Raymond seemed unfazed by the workout with the temperature at 89 degrees.

How many punts did he return?

"I have no idea," he said. "I try to catch as many as I can. I had a rough day yesterday. I'm trying to build good habits."

How many passes from the jugs machine – which, of course, never gets tired.

"Until my hands hurt," Raymond said, laughing.

There is a purpose to Raymond's workout program. It's not for show.

By any measure, Raymond has increased his value in his two seasons with the Lions.

"If I can just be a day better then hopefully I can be steadily increasing."

Raymond has been a steady and productive player. That's a good combination that's reflected in his status.

He had 48 catches for 576 yards and four TDs in 2021. His 2022 stats were close to the same – 47 catches for 616 yards.

He had 95 catches in his 33 games in his two seasons with the Lions.

Prior to his arrival in Detroit, Raymond played 35 games with four teams in five seasons from 2016-2020. He had 19 catches, with all but one coming in his two seasons with the Lions. His presence has added more than just stats.

"I like our receiver room," head coach Dan Campbell said. "I think we have a good mix of different types of guys.

"'Leef' is our iron man, particularly in that room. He's a guy who's been there for us when we needed him.

"He always shows up."

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