Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young returned to practice Wednesday after being dismissed from the team last Monday and being withheld from the Lions Thanksgiving day contest against the Houston Texans.
“Well he’s always been a member of the team,” said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. “Last week he was inactive, and like I said yesterday we needed some time apart to get some stuff straight. Came out today and worked hard. Did his job and that’s what we expect of him.”
Young’s return to practice doesn't guarantee a return to the game-day lineup, as the second-year pro will have to earn back his position within the team.
“Too soon to tell,” said Schwartz. “We’ll see as it gets later in the week and who we think the best 46 to play the Colts are. If he’s one of them, he will and if not then he’ll go back to work and work the next week.”
Young is one of the team’s more talented receivers as he offers good hands and solid speed.
However, the Lions thrived without him against the Texans, raking up 525 yards, including 419 through the air.
Due to the offense’s ability to perform without him, there isn't a tremendous amount of urgency to thrust him back into the lineup. So, the coaching staff will take their time evaluating him.
“It just depends on what his contribution is on offense; what his role would be and what contribution that he can make to our offense same as any other player,” said Schwartz.
Just getting back on the practice field is a step in the right direction for Young and is the first step in showing his teammates that he is committed to helping them succeed.
“Just came out here today and worked,” said quarterback Matthew Stafford of Young’s first day back. “That’s what you have to do. Just start from square one and just build. Be here, practice, be here when you’re supposed to be here, do all that kind of stuff, come out here, catch the ball and run around have some fun and play the game.”
Young’s teammates have welcomed him back and hold no ill-will towards their 23-year-old teammate.
“He’s a professional, he knows what he needs to do,” said cornerback Chris Houston. “I’m pretty sure the coaches, the head coach, have talked to him. They handled that on that side. Me, as his teammate and a friend, on and off the field, I have no problem with him and I never have. He’s a good friend to me and a lot of people in this locker room.”
The ball is in Young’s court. He has the opportunity to work his way back into the coaching staff’s good graces and find his way back on the field.
Once he gets on the field, there doesn’t seem to be much concern he’ll gel back in with the group.
“He’s a guy that’s made plays for me in the past,” said Stafford. “Look at last season, this season, he’s made plays. When we’re out on the field, we know what kind of talent he has.”