Ellington (back) was a limited participant in Monday's practice, Scott Bordow of The Athletic reports. There was no mention of Ellington getting injured during Sunday's victory over Carolina, but fantasy owners nonetheless need to keep an eye on the receiver's status as the Lions prepare on a short week for Thursday's Thanksgiving matchup against the Bears.
Ellington brought in six of nine targets for 52 yards in the Lions' 20-19 win over the Panthers on Sunday. Ellington was solid in a complementary role alongside lead wideout Kenny Golladay with Marvin Jones (knee) sidelined. The five-year veteran was making his Lions debut after opening the season with the Texans, and the initial returns were certainly encouraging, especially for a Detroit team that could be without Jones for an extended period. Ellington will have a short turnaround before likely serving in a prominent role once again versus the Bears in a Thanksgiving Day showdown.
Ellington could see a significant workload Sunday against the Panthers with teammate Marvin Jones (knee) sidelined, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. It seems likely that TJ Jones will take Marvin Jones' place on the outside, but it's not as clear who will man the slot. While Ellington is certainly a candidate to handle some of the snaps at that position, it wouldn't be surprising if running back Theo Riddick -- who has taken numerous reps from the slot in both of the past two weeks -- ultimately sees more playing time in Jones' stead. The uncertainty of how the slot snaps shake out makes both Riddick and Ellington somewhat risky fantasy options this week, though could be worth dart throws in DFS tournaments while facing a Panthers team that has repeatedly been torched by slot receivers throughout the year. Cole Beasley (seven catches for 73 yards in Week 1), Tyler Boyd (six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown in Week 3), Sterling Shepard (four catches for 75 yards in Week 5) and Adam Humphries (eight catches for 82 yards and two scores in Week 9) all enjoyed elevated production while taking on Carolina.
Ellington (coach's decision) was inactive for Sunday's 34-22 loss to Chicago. Signed just days before kickoff, Ellington understandably needs more time to learn the playbook before the Detroit coaching staff can feel comfortable giving the receiver live game reps. Ellington's next chance to make his Lions debut will come next Sunday in a Week 11 home game against the Panthers.
Ellington agreed to a contract with the Lions on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Lions added Ellington to their roster shortly after working him out following his release from the Texans last week. The 27-year-old hasn't seen game action since Week 3 after suffering a hamstring injury that resulted in his placement on injured reserve, but he was given full clearance by doctors prior to being cut loose by Houston. Though injuries have stunted Ellington's development, he had flashed some potential when he was able to take the field for the Texans over parts of the last two seasons, notching 37 receptions for 422 yards and three scores in 14 games. Ellington could eventually emerge as the No. 3 receiver behind Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay in Detroit following the team's recent trade of Golden Tate to the Eagles. Neither TJ Jones (two receptions for 13 yards on 36 offensive snaps) nor rookie Brandon Powell (no offensive snaps) made much of an immediate impact in Tate's stead during the Lions' Week 9 loss to the Vikings.
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