Jamal Agnew

Lions To Place CB Jamal Agnew On IR

The Lions will place cornerback/return man Jamal Agnew on injured reserve with a knee injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Agnew, 23, earned All-Pro honors as a specialist during his rookie season in 2017 after leading the NFL in punt return yardage and average, and also scored two touchdowns on special teams. His prowess in the kicking game had continued into this season, but Agnew had also been asked to play more on defense, where his playtime percentage had jumped from just 7.8% a year ago to 36.3% in 2018. Pro Football Focus gave Agnew poor marks for his coverage abilities, however, grading him as a bottom-10 cornerback.

While he’s heading to injured reserve, Agnew could potentially return later this season if the Lions are making a playoff push, per Schefter. NFL rules stipulate a minimum eight-game absence for Agnew, meaning he could return in mid-December if Detroit is in contention. At present, the Lions aren’t a likely playoff team, as FiveThirtyEight.com gives the 2-3 Detroit club just a 25% chance of earning a postseason berth.

With Agnew out, cornerbacks Teez Tabor and DeShawn Shead could see more snaps behind starters Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson. On special teams, running back Ameer Abdullah could potentially be activated for only the second time this season in order to take over on kick and punt returns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.