Sometimes it's just a few plays over the course of four preseason games that separates one player from another, earns one player a job and the other a flight home.
Halfway through the preseason, it looks like rookie running back Dwayne Washington has helped his situation. Even head coach Jim Caldwell admitted as much after Thursday's 30-14 loss to Cincinnati in the second preseason game of the year.
"He's helping himself that's for sure," Caldwell said after watching Washington record his second touchdown in as many games and lead the team on the ground with 22 yards on six carries.
"He's not hurting himself. Any time that you do what he's been able to do, he's certainly trending in the right direction."
Last week in Pittsburgh, Washington return a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. Thursday vs. Cincinnati, he had a couple nice runs where he made something out of nothing. He was also able to get into the end zone late from five yards out.
"It's very important," Washington said of making the most of his opportunities. "I have my role, which is running back, so for me it's trust issues into carrying the ball and getting positive yards."
There are two running backs that are shoe-ins for a spot on the initial 53-man roster. They are Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. After that, it's wide open and production will win out. If Washington, who has a terrific blend of size and speed, continues to stand out, it will be hard not to keep him on the initial 53-man roster.
After Riddick and Zach Zenner, Washington was the third running back into the game Thursday. How those reps are split up between Zenner, Washington, Stevan Ridley and George Winn is something to keep an eye on the next couple weeks.
Lions receiver Marvin Jones failed to make a catch along the Bengals' sideline during the first series Thursday and got a little extra shove out of bounds by Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones as he went to the ground -- Call it a friendly 'how do you do again' tap.
"That's Adam," Marvin Jones said. "I told him, 'OK, I'm coming right back.'"
Marvin Jones and Adam Jones are very familiar with one another having gone against each other in practice the last four seasons. Marvin Jones spent the first four years of his career in Cincinnati before signing with Detroit this offseason.
He caught four passes for 65 yards in just three series on the field.
"It was neat seeing them and going against them," Marvin Jones said of facing his old teammates. "Those are the guys I've went against every day for four years."
EVEN QUICKER PACE
The pace to which the Lions offense has been playing the first two weeks has been noticeably faster than anything we've seen since Matthew Stafford has been here starting in 2009.
If it were up to Stafford, they'd be going even faster.
"I still don't think we're sometimes playing at the pace I would like to play at," he said after the game. "I would like to be going a little bit quicker if we can."
There's nothing major to report, which is always good news when it comes to the preseason.
A few notable players held out of the game were: Abdullah, linebacker DeAndre Levy, tight end Eric Ebron, guard Geoff Schwartz, linebacker Jon Bostic and safety Don Carey.