Roberts was not present for Wednesday's practice session due to a leg injury, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Roberts is considered a candidate to earn a larger role with the offense in 2018 with some rather unsavory options available at the tight end position. His campaign for playing time will hit a temporary halt following a leg injury suffered Monday, though the extent of the issue has yet to hit the airwaves. When healthy, expect Roberts to resume his pursuit of additional offensive snaps after playing 221 last season.
Roberts was taken in the fourth round of the 2017 draft but spent the majority of his rookie season buried on the depth chart behind Eric Ebron and Darren Fells. Both of those players have since bolted to sign with other teams this offseason, but Detroit wasted no time in restocking its tight end corps by inking Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo to one-year contracts. However, Roberts is still viewed as a candidate to make a second-year leap in 2018, especially given the lack of commitment the Lions showed to their new additions. Even though the Toledo product doesn't ooze the kind of athleticism that other pass-catching tight ends possess, Roberts is an effective blocker who doesn't need to leave the field and has already proved his worth as a goal-line target during his final collegiate season, when he caught 45 of 68 targets for 533 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Roberts caught four of seven targets for 46 yards in 15 games during the 2017 season.
Roberts, who Detroit took in the fourth round of last year's draft, spent the majority of his rookie season as the No. 3 tight end behind Eric Ebron and Darren Fells. Although the Toledo product ultimately didn't make much of an impact on the stat sheet, he could take on a much more significant role in 2018 with Fells set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year.
Roberts caught one pass for 23 yards during Sunday's 44-20 loss to the Ravens.
Roberts earned 20 of 63 snaps Sunday, compared to 31 for starter Darren Fells and 29 for Eric Ebron. His reception was just his second of the season, as the Lions primarily deploy Roberts as a blocker. The fourth-round rookie isn't an option in any fantasy format.
|4||9/30/18||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/21/18||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ ARI||4:25 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|