In today’s reminder that we’re not permitted to possess nice things, Titus Young has missed his second straight practice. Several weeks ago this would have been little more than a ticker item that scrolls by while ESPN continues to perform its daily Tim Tebow fellatio.
But now with Nate Burleson out and Calvin Johnson sometimes struggling and sometimes not with a knee injury of his own, Young was thought to be the BEST WAIVER WIRE PICKUP EVER a few weeks ago. That was when he had 181 receiving yards and two touchdowns over a two-game stretch while filling in for Burleson. Now although he’ll likely still play this weekend, Young is increasingly becoming a victim of the fantasy overlords who are nourished by our tears.
Young has fought a knee injury over the past several weeks, because that’s what all the cool kids on the Lions’ WR depth chart are doing. It hasn’t restricted his playing time even if it’s restricted his practice time, but at least last week he was able to put together three limited practices. Now either his condition has worsened, or the Lions are using the same tender approach with him that’s working with Megatron, as we’re through two practices this week and we haven’t had a Young sighting yet.
Tomorrow will clearly be a key day to gauge Young’s playing status for Detroit’s divisional game this weekend on the road against Minnesota. Even if he does play, Young could be limited and therefore targeted sporadically, as we saw last week when he had just 20 yards on two receptions despite a highly appealing matchup against a depleted Jaguars secondary. The Vikings present another ideal matchup against a unit that’s given up six touchdowns over Minnesota’s last two games.
Again, this would have been a fantasy afterthought prior to Burleson’s injury, but with Johnson drawing heavy coverage and Matthew Stafford starting to look like Matthew Stafford again, a healthy Young will have scoring opportunities, and the chance to post high-end WR3 production during a week when Larry Fitzgerald owners are hurting due to his bye.
Now it’s difficult to justify confidence in Young or any Lions WR not named Calvin Johnson as anything more than a dice-rolling flex play.