When the Detroit Lions drafted Amon-Ra St. Brown, they hoped he’d be a key contributor at some point, potentially in the slot as the No.3 receiver at least.
Well, plans have changed.
Several days ago, Dan Campbell stated that Tyrell Williams’s return to the team is “off in the distance.” And a day after that, the Lions placed Quintez Cephus on injured reserve after breaking his collarbone during Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. Unless the Lions have a miraculous turnaround and become a playoff team, Cephus will miss the rest of the season.
Because of that, St. Brown will head in this Sunday’s game vs. the Bengals at the Lions’ top receiver. And there’s one person who has the utmost confidence in him.
It’s his quarterback, Jared Goff.
“[St. Brown] has done a great job, and I think it’s our job to get him involved more,” said Goff. “It’s on me. It’s on how we’re doing things. We need to get him the ball a little bit. I thought last week we did that.”
“He’s done a great job ever since he got here. He’s a guy that’s, as a rookie, he doesn’t look like a rookie.”
And Goff’s praise for his first-year wideout didn’t stop there, as he has high expectations for St. Brown’s ceiling.
“He’s a guy that in four or five years from now, I expect to be in the top in the league as guys in the slot or even outside that can make those plays and do those things you like to see him do,” said Goff.
Jared Goff was right about one thing. The Lions did make a better effort of getting St. Brown involved in the offense recently. He’s had more targets over the last two games (16) than the first three games combined (10). Sticking with the previous two games, he’s caught 13 of 16 targets (81%) for 135 yards.
Unfortunately for St. Brown and the Lions, he’s still searching for the first touchdown of the season. And things won’t get any easier for him or Goff when the Bengals come to Ford Field.
The Bengals’ defense ranks 11th in lowest yards per play allowed, with offenses only averaging 5.3 yards. Logan Wilson and Trey Hendrickson have played exceptionally this season. And the Lions’ offensive line is facing its fair share of woes at the wrong time because the Bengals defense has the 7th most sacks (13) in the league.
Wilson is currently 9th in the NFL in total tackles (47) and third in interceptions (3). Then there’s Hendrickson, who’s coming off a solid performance against the Packers, sacking Aaron Rodgers twice. That put him in a three-way tie for 10th place in most sacks in the league (4.5).
And to put the cherry on the sundae, they’ve only allowed six passing touchdowns this season.
If Amon-Ra St. Brown is going to meet the high hopes of Jared Goff, he has to put on a show against the Bengals. Because doing so would go a long way in cementing himself as a premier target in Detroit.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.