Tate caught three passes for 29 yards on five targets, adding one carry for six yards, in Saturday's preseason game against the Ravens.
With TE Eric Ebron (ankle) still unavailable, Matthew Stafford honed in on Tate, Marvin Jones (six targets) and Anquan Boldin (five targets) during a rough first half for the starting offense. Tate is still going to start and play the vast majority of snaps, but he'll probably spend less time in the slot than he did last season, as Boldin is at his best working over the middle.
Tate suffered a minor injury in last Thursday's preseason loss to the Bengals. The team has not commented on the wideout's status heading into Saturday's game against the Ravens.
Tate (undisclosed) has not practiced since Detroit's second preseason game Aug. 18 versus Cincinnati, but is nearing a return, MLive.com reports.
It's very unclear as to when, where or how Tate was injured, but the injury is not serious. Though he technically "missed" both Saturday and Sunday's practices, he was present at both sessions and witnessed running on Sunday night without the aid of a brace nor sleeve. Ultimately, Tate's Week 1 availability is not in question and he should return to the fold in the coming days. Until then, TJ Jones will likely fill in with the first-team offense.
Tate caught 3-of-4 targets for 41 yards in Detroit's preseason loss to Cincinnati.
Though Tate was largely efficient in the showing, it was clear he won't be the apple to QB Matt Stafford's eye in 2016; Marvin Jones garnered more targets, receptions and yards. Nonetheless, Tate still demonstrated that he is a focal point in the team's offensive attack and will remain Stafford's primary target in the mid-range passing game even with the addition of WR Anquan Boldin.
Tate has amassed 189 receptions across the past two seasons, and appeared destined for a massive 2016 campaign in a No. 1 wideout role once Calvin Johnson announced his retirement. However, that doesn't appear to be the case thus far into the preseason. First, Detroit appears to be attempting to replace Johnson with a combination of Marvin Jones (who was signed to a larger contract than Tate), the newly-acquired Anquan Boldin, and an improved Eric Ebron (ankle). Here, Jones projects to assume the deep-threat role while Tate and Boldin serve as possession receivers with Ebron primarily used as a mismatch-creator in the middle of the field. What's more, OC Jim Bob Cooter seemed to prefer Tate almost exclusively in an underneath role in 2015; once Cooter assumed control of the Lions' offense in Week 8, Tate averaged less than 9.0 YPC in five of nine games to end the season. No, Tate isn't typically known as a deep threat anyway, but he did flash dangerous potential downfield after posting a 15.3 YPC in 2012 with Seattle. However, that average has declined each season since, and Tate is now coming off a career-low 9.0 YPC. Ultimately, Tate figures to retain a significant role in the Lions' offensive attack and could easily record another 90-catch campaign, but he doesn't automatically become a lock for a massive season just because Calvin Johnson is no longer on the team.
|1||9/11/16||@ IND||4:25 pm|
|3||9/25/16||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|4||10/2/16||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|8||10/30/16||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|9||11/6/16||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|13||12/4/16||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|15||12/18/16||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|16||12/26/16||@ DAL||8:30 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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