Injuries are a major part of the game when it comes to the NFL. According to NBC Sports, the Detroit Lions might lose Eric Ebron for the entire season, after their starting tight end was injured in training camp. Many are afraid that it might be a severely torn Achilles injury.
Eric Ebron was chosen with the 10th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. For a tight end to be chosen that high, expectations were through the roof. The Detroit Lioins were hoping that Ebron would form an unstoppable trio with starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and star wide receiver Calvin Johnson, both of whom were Pro Bowl-level players.
During practice this week, Eric Ebron found himself not being able to put pressure on his right leg. It was bad enough that the Detroit Lions medical staff felt that the 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end needed to be carted off the field.
Eric Ebron was carted off the field during today's scrimmage. https://t.co/uXL5MR9reZ
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 6, 2016
Last season, Eric Ebron played 14 games for the Detroit Lions. He had 47 catches for 537 yards, as confirmed by ESPN. Ebron helped the Lions by scoring five touchdowns. While those numbers are solid, Detroit was hoping that the 23-year-old would step up his game even further now that Calvin Johnson has retired from the NFL.
Another reason why the Detroit Lions were counting on Eric Ebron so much this upcoming season is because Brandon Pettigrew, their other first round tight end, is currently recovering from a torn ACL injury. Ebron and Pettigrew were supposed to be assets for the Lions offense, but neither guy might see the field any time soon.
Since Calvin Johnson is not a player that can easily be replaced, the Detroit Lions had made plans to spread the ball around more on offense. Eric Ebron was supposed to have been one of the targets.
With Eric Ebron not around to work the middle of the field for the Detroit Lions, that opens things up for Anquan Boldin, the free agent who last played for the San Francisco 49ers. During training camp, the veteran wide receiver has been lining up in the slot and running a lot of routes that tight ends normally would.
According to ABC Sports, the Detroit Lions are not interested in discussing the injury that Eric Ebron suffered. Head coach Jim Caldwell refused to comment. Matthew Stafford refused to discuss adjustments that the Lions will make without Ebron. General manager Bob Quinn simply stated that injuries happen in the NFL.
Without Eric Ebron around, the Detroit Lions are looking at a pretty bare cupboard at tight end. Matthew Mulligan is a veteran, but the 31-year-old only has 17 career receptions. Orson Charles has been in the NFL for four seasons, but has just nine receptions. Cole Wick is a rookie that was not drafted.
Earlier this summer, the Detroit Lions signed Marvin Jones, as reported by Sports Illustrated. The rising wide receiver decided to leave the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency. With Eric Ebron possibly missing the entire season, Jones will be counted on for even more production.
Fortunately for the Detroit Lions, head coach Jim Caldwell is a pretty creative mind when it comes to offense. There is a very good chance that this injury will enable him to move to more of a spread offense. The Lions could find themselves utilizing more three and four wide receivers formations.
Injuries are nothing new in the NFL. Losing Eric Ebron is a bad thing for the Detroit Lions. However, it is not the end of the world. The team will figure out ways to make things work without their starting tight end.
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