Detroit Lions place receiver on IR, sign replacement

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The Detroit Lions are losing a receiver but they’re still keeping up with the Joneses.

TJ Jones has been officially placed on injured reserve by the Lions ending his 2017 season after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Chicago Bears in week 15. Detroit officials haven’t provided an update on the specifics of his injury but he’ll now have the whole offseason and remainder of the year to recover.

Jones caught 30 passes for 399 yards and a touchdown on the season before leaving Saturday’s game against Chicago early. He’s been steadily ceding his third receiver role to rookie Kenny Golladay as the year’s worn on. With Golladay growing more entrenched in the offense since coming back from a hamstring injury earlier this year, Jones’s absence should only accelerate the rookie’s ascension.

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Andy Jones has been promoted from the Lions practice squad to fill the vacated receiver spot. An undrafted free agent out of Jacksonville University, Jones has average size at 6’2″ and 200 pounds with 4.5 speed. He caught 144 passes and 17 touchdowns at Jacksonville but isn’t likely to see an abundance of snaps for Detroit.

The move shouldn’t garner much of a reaction, but it is notable the Lions elected not to promote Jace Billingsley to the active roster in his stead. Billingsley, a sure-handed preseason fan favorite, has more experience with the team and would fill the special teams void TJ Jones is leaving behind as the next-in-line return man behind Jamal Agnew.

A restricted free agent after the season, it would not be surprising if TJ Jones has seen his last snaps as a Detroit Lion.

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