Tight end Joseph Fauria would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the recent league decision to liberalize rules governing post-touchdown celebrations. The problem is that he’s unemployed and has not appeared in an NFL game since 2014.
Fauria signed with Detroit as a UDFA in 2013, and the 6-7 UCLA product hauled in 18 catches that year, seven of which went for touchdowns. He punctuated his scores with various dances and antics, which turned him into something of a brief Internet sensation. Unfortunately, he followed up his surprisingly productive rookie campaign with a disappointing and injury-shortened 2014 that saw him catch just six passes for 74 yards (though one of them was a touchdown reception).
His size, athleticism, and unexpected agility were not appealing enough for an NFL team to put him on the field in 2015. He was cut by Detroit prior to the start of the regular season that year, and while he had stints with the Patriots’ and Cardinals’ taxi squads in the subsequent months, he never suited up for either club. He then sat out all of 2016.
Now, as Alex Marvez of SportingNews.com writes, Fauria is attempting to make a comeback. Fauria, 27, says, “I’m trying my best. Last year didn’t go as planned. I didn’t get any tryouts, but I have my head on straight now. I’m in good shape. I’m ready to go. I just want one more chance.” Fauria also admits that, while former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz ultimately warmed up to his touchdown celebrations, Schwartz’s successor, Jim Caldwell, did not, and team ownership was also unhappy about Fauria’s demonstrations. It’s difficult to say whether that displeasure contributed to the end of Fauria’s tenure with the Lions, but it certainly didn’t help.