ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have invested a lot in tight ends, desperately hoping to turn a weakness into a strength.
Detroit drafted Iowa star T.J. Hockenson early in the...
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions ignored some forgettable draft history and took the plunge again to address perhaps their top need.
Free Agency-Lions Capsule
DETROIT LIONS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Ziggy Ansah, DT Ricky Jean Francois, LB Eli Harold, RB Zach Zenner, TE Levine Toilolo, TE Luke Willson, WR TJ Jones, CB DeShawn Shead, RB...
Offensive star power headlines Colts-Chiefs showdown
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eric Ebron has seen the forecast for Saturday's divisional playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs, where even the most optimistic of meteorologists are pegging the chances of rain or snow at about 50 percent.
It doesn't bother him. The Colts tight end played in plenty of cold games in the NFC North.
Leonard to use Pro Bowl snub as motivation against Giants
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was disappointed when his name didn't appear on the AFC's Pro Bowl roster Tuesday night.
Now the league's leading tackler intends to make all future opponents pay for the perceived snub.
"He told me he'd have 40 tackles this week, and I told him that's humanly impossible," tight end Eric Ebron said Wednesday.
But if the Colts (8-6) have learned anything about their star rookie, it's not to discount anything he says.
Cowboys, Colts ready to meet in high-stakes game
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jason Garrett and Frank Reich understand the high stakes of Sunday's game.
If Dallas wins, it clinches the NFC East. If Indianapolis wins, it stays in the hunt for the AFC's final playoff spot and possibly even a division crown.
The two coaches and their players will get one more precious late-season chance to see how they stack up against another postseason contender and what can be done to keep playing into January.
Injuries leave Colts short-handed for possible playoff push
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck might be playing the best football of his career.
He's still going to need help reaching the playoffs with mounting injuries threatening to derail the Indianapolis Colts' late postseason push.
Jalen Ramsey wants to spend career with Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Regardless of his rant on social media, Jalen Ramsey would love to spend his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And the chatty cornerback has a video game to prove it.
"I play Madden all the time. I play with the Jags," Ramsey said Thursday. "I don't trade myself. I don't make any trades on the team. I play with the Jags. I lose a couple times, but I bounce back. I always bounce back. But I play with the Jags."
Colts continue to take advantage of tight end mismatches
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich thought he could exploit the Indianapolis Colts' tight end advantage.
Defenses still haven't solved it.
Less than a year after helping the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl, Reich brought the philosophy to his first head coaching job and is getting similar results.
Colts dropping ball as losses mount, games slip away
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts coach Frank Reich doesn't need to spend much time dissecting game tapes to figure out what's going wrong.
He sees it with his own eyes at full speed.
Dropped passes, turnovers and inexplicable penalties have fueled the Colts' four-game losing streak, leaving them in a big midseason hole.
"It's been an issue and it's past the point of 'OK, that was a fluke,'" Reich said Monday when pressed specifically on the issue of drops. "We just have to keep working, catching balls."
Castonzo eager to make season debut on Colts offensive line
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo hopes to make his season debut Sunday against the New York Jets.
Castonzo was a full participant at practice Wednesday and Thursday and all indications are he will start on a short-handed offensive line.
Lions Preview Capsule
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
New faces: Coach Matt Patricia, RB LeGarrette Blount, RB Kerryon Johnson, TE Luke Willson, C Frank Ragnow, DT Sylvester Williams, LB Christian Jones, LB Devon Kennard.
Key losses: Coach Jim Caldwell, TE Eric Ebron, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Tahir Whitehead.
Strengths: Passing game. QB Matthew Stafford threw for 1,000-plus yards to WR Marvin Jones and WR Golden Tate last year and has pass-catching RB Theo Riddick. All-Pro CB Darius Slay among NFL's best in coverage.
Colts Preview Capsule
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-12)
New faces: G Matt Slauson, TE Eric Ebron, WR Ryan Grant, DT Denico Autry, LB Najee Goode, rookies G Quenton Nelson, OL Braden Smith, DE Kemoko Turay, LB Darius Leonard, RB Jordan Wilkins, RB Nyheim Hines, coach Frank Reich.
Key losses: RB Frank Gore, CB Rashaan Melvin, S Darius Butler, DT Johnathan Hankins, WR Donte Moncrief, coach Chuck Pagano.
Ebron relishing opportunity to jump start career in Indy
WESTFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Suddenly, football is fun again for Eric Ebron.
He's smiling and shouting, celebrating scores and making big plays look routine at training camp. Inside the Colts' tight end meeting room, teammates hear him asking questions and offering suggestions, virtually certain Ebron will play a prominent role in Indianapolis' new offense.
It's everything Ebron wanted — a second chance to showcase his skills and finally live up to the hype surrounding him when he entered the NFL.
Lions Training Camp Capsule
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 27, Allen Park, Michigan
LAST YEAR: Early and late-season slides knocked team out of playoff contention and cost coach Jim Caldwell job. QB Matthew Stafford led pass-dependent offense with 1,000-yard WRs Marvin Jones and Golden Tate. CB Darius Slay emerged as one of league's best in coverage.
Go through the gallery to see Justin Rogers' NFL mock draft 3.0. Click here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.
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- The Washington TimesMitch Trubisky, Eric Ebron among surprise fantasy performers for Week 10November 11, 2018
- The SunBrady, Patriots Hammer the Colts, 38-24October 5, 2018
- The SunBrady, Patriots Hammer the Colts, 38-24October 5, 2018
- Sentinel & EnterpriseBrady, Gordon Power Patriots in Win Over ColtsOctober 5, 2018
Orlando, Fla. — The decision to release Eric Ebron was strictly a financial decision, according to Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn.
The Lions let Ebron go earlier this month, hours before the start of the new league year, when the tight end's $8.25 million contract would become guaranteed.
Lions sign TE Luke Willson and DT Sylvester Williams
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have signed tight end Luke Willson, adding a potential starter in place of Eric Ebron, and bolstered their defensive line by adding Sylvester Williams.
Detroit addressed needs on both sides of the ball with the moves Wednesday.
Colts make splashy entrance into 2nd wave of free agency
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard promised to be smart in free agency.
He declined to be swayed by splashy moves and refused to overspend — on his players or anyone else's.
Now Ballard is diving head first into the second wave of free agency. After signing tight end Eric Ebron on Monday, he added receiver Ryan Grant and offensive lineman Matt Slauson on Tuesday.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts have signed free agent receiver Ryan Grant.
Grant spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. In 64 career games, he made 15 starts, caught 84 passes for 985 yards with six touchdowns.
Last year, the 6-foot, 204-pound Grant finished with 45 receptions, 573 yards and four TDs.
Indianapolis — Eric Ebron has found a new home.
The former Detroit Lions' first-round draft pick, who was unceremoniously cut before the start of the new league year, has signed a two-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
The NFL Network reports that pact with the Colts could be worth up to $15 million with incentives. Ebron was set to make $8.25 million with the Lions in 2018, had he not been released.
Colts give Luck another option by signing TE Eric Ebron
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts finally made a splashy signing Monday night.
It should make Andrew Luck happy, too.
After adding only one player in the first five days of free agency, the Colts agreed to a deal with former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron. Contract terms were not immediately available.
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions bolstered their linebacker group with Christian Jones and Devon Kennard, and their offensive line with Kenny Wiggins.
Detroit signed the trio of unrestricted free agents on Thursday.
After releasing Eric Ebron on Wednesday, and seeing Darren Fells sign with the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions could stand adding a tight end or two to the roster.
According to multiple reports, the team is meeting with veteran Brent Celek on Thursday.
Celek, an 11-year veteran, has spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was released by the team this week, saving the cap-strapped Eagles more than $4 million in space.
Detroit Lions cut former first-rounder Eric Ebron, save $8.25 million in cap space
The Detroit Lions cut 2014 first-round TE Eric Ebron on Wednesday, a move that saves the club $8.25 million in cap space.
Lions GM Bob Quinn inherited Ebron but still opted to pick up his 2018 option last spring. However, with that money becoming guaranteed when the new league year opens, Quinn and new coach Matt Patricia have apparently decided it'll be better spent elsewhere.
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions made a significant move on the first day of free agency.
It wasn't an addition.
On an otherwise quiet Wednesday, the Lions announced they were releasing tight end Eric Ebron. The 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft would have earned $8.25 million this season if he had remained on the roster past 4 p.m.
Promises turn into paydays as NFL business year begins
All those promises worth millions upon millions to free agents turned into paydays Wednesday when the NFL's business year began.
Of course, teams needed to clear salary cap space or rejigger their ledgers to make it work, and they'll still be doing so for months.
While the likes of Drew Brees, Malcolm Butler and Andrew Norwell cashed in bigtime, having reached agreements in the past two days before everything became official, some value entered the marketplace.
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions released tight end Eric Ebron on Wednesday, hours before the start of the new league year.
Ebron, a former first-round pick in 2014, was set to earn $8.25 million in 2018, playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract.
The Lions reportedly explored trade offers last week, but apparently didn't find any takers for the 24-year-old tight end. The team also shopped him prior to the trading deadline last season.
Allen Park — With the official opening of free agency arriving Wednesday afternoon, the Detroit Lions have less cap space to work with than most teams, but still enough to be active plugging some roster holes.
This is the seventh in a series looking at positional needs for the Detroit Lions in free agency. Teams can begin negotiating with free agents on March 12. The signing period opens March 14 at 4 p.m.
Allen Park – With a talented trio of targets under contract, the Detroit Lions are in good position at wide receiver entering free agency. The biggest decision the team faces at the position is whether to extend Golden Tate later this offseason.
While we wait for the New England Patriots' season to end, so the Detroit Lions can officially hire their next head coach, let's knock out a mailbag.
Who is more likely to be wearing Honolulu blue and playing at ford field in 2019 , Ebron or Ansah?
— Harry (@503LionsFan) January 19, 2018
Can I vote neither? OK, fine. If I had to choose, I'd lean toward Eric Ebron.
Allen Park — It's clear the Detroit Lions are heading in a different direction after firing coach Jim Caldwell on Monday.
What's unclear is whether tight end Eric Ebron will be part of the equation moving forward.
"I don't know. We'll see," Ebron said Monday. "I'm not confident about what's going to happen next. I'm about to just go back and see what happens. They have until March to fully understand or for me to fully understand what my plan is going forward and we'll just go from there.
Allen Park — Detroit Lions players didn't express surprise at the firing of coach Jim Caldwell, but many conveyed sadness at their coach's exit.
Justin Rogers’ Lions grades: Stafford, receivers rise to fore in season finale
Detroit — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Sunday's 35-11 win over Green Bay Packers.
Matthew Stafford misfired on a couple throws to Eric Ebron, but was otherwise on point. Stafford showed good touch on a pair of deep balls to Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, and also connected with Golden Tate wide open in space out of play-action, resulting in a 71-yard score.
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions had all five of their starting offensive linemen practicing Wednesday, although two, guard T.J. Lang (foot) and right tackle Rick Wagner (ankle), remained limited.
Center Travis Swanson, who has missed the past two games with a concussion, was a full participant.
Cincinnati — Justin Rogers grades the Lions' performance in Sunday's 26-17 loss to Cincinnati Bengals.
Matthew Stafford completed 19-of-35 passes for 203 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He showed good touch on his deep ball, particularly on a pair of tight-window throws to Eric Ebron. Stafford's biggest mistake was an interception when he forced a throw despite a defender hanging on him.
Blue Christmas: Detroit Lions lose, out of playoffs
Cincinnati – The Detroit Lions have given their fans coal for Christmas.
With the Atlanta Falcons opening the door for a potential playoff berth to be clinched next week, the Lions fell short against a struggling and banged-up Bengals team on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, 26-17.
The loss officially eliminates the Lions from postseason contention and will make coach Jim Caldwell's job security the top story in town.
Can you believe what happened in Pittsburgh on Sunday?
Antonio Brown and Rex Burkhead — two of fantasy football's most valuable players down the home stretch — suffered regular season-ending injuries. (See what we did there?)
Seriously, though, while we can argue about what is and isn't a catch until we're blue in the face, fantasy owners have more pressing matters: what are they to do championship week without the game's best receiver and/or Patriots' best fantasy back?
The math and path became a little bit clearer for the Lions.
But the tight times and dire situation remain the same: Detroit must win out to have any chance at returning to the playoffs.
"Yeah, I mean, we did it to ourselves," tight end Eric Ebron said. "We've got to fend for ourselves. That's kind of how it works. That's kind of how you play the game and you just roll with the punches. So, right now we're just rolling with the punches and know what we've got to do."
Detroit — He's under pressure, constantly. They're under pressure, constantly.
But go ahead and say this about Matthew Stafford and the Lions: They're getting more comfortable handling the duress.
Detroit — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Saturday's 20-10 victory over the Chicago Bears:
Matthew Stafford was sharp, completing better than 75 percent of his passes, while showing elusiveness to extend plays on more than one occasion. He missed one key throw, a would-be touchdown to Eric Ebron on a drive on which the Lions settled for a field goal, but was otherwise efficient, not turning the ball over. Grade: A
Stafford-led Lions beat Bears 20-10, stay in playoff picture
DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Stafford struck a balance between making plays and avoiding mistakes to keep the Detroit Lions in the playoff picture.
Stafford threw two touchdown passes and didn't have a turnover, helping Detroit beat the Chicago Bears 20-10 on Saturday night.
"It's just trying to be as calculated as you can with those chances that you're going to take," he said. "And, understanding the game situation."
Stafford, Lions beat Bears 20-10, stay in playoff picture
DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and avoided mistakes, allowing the Detroit Lions to stay in the playoff picture with a 20-10 victory over the Chicago Bears on Saturday night.
Detroit (8-6) has won two straight and needs to close the regular season with two more wins to keep its postseason hopes alive.
The Bears (4-10) have lost six of seven, sealing a third season with double-digit losses in three years under embattled coach John Fox.
Allen Park – Not unlike second-round pick Teez Tabor, Detroit Lions rookie tight end Michael Roberts has had trouble getting consistent playing time this season, primarily because the veteran depth in front of him has stayed healthy.
Eric Ebron and Darren Fells haven't missed a game, leaving Roberts to average a little more than 13 snaps per game, which he's primarily served as a blocker.
The trade deadline came and went back in October, and Eric Ebron stayed. But the Lions' tight end hasn't been the same player since then. He has been decidedly better, nearly doubling his production and emerging in recent weeks with a bigger role in the offense.
More:Justin Rogers' Lions grades: Secondary nets high marks
Allen Park — If you follow Eric Ebron on Twitter, you know the love he has for his alma mater, North Carolina.
Well, it just so happens that this Sunday, the Lions are facing a rookie quarterback from North Carolina in Bears rookie Mitchell Trubisky.
Apparently, the Lions tight end has had some advice for Trubisky on how to handle the criticism that comes with being in the NFL.
Detroit’s Ebron takes step forward with key TD catch
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Eric Ebron ran under Matthew Stafford's pass and gathered the ball in — a simple catch for the touchdown that put Detroit ahead to stay.
Then again, nothing has been all that simple for Ebron in his four-year NFL career.