Despite the 22nd consecutive loss at Lambeau Field, the Detroit Lions had a good first half during the Sunday Night Football matchup with the Green Bay Packers. The Lions, who held a 14-10 halftime lead, saw several good individual performances despite the loss. One of those noteworthy performances came from new wide receiver Kris Durham.
The Lions signed Durham from their practice squad earlier in the week, as one of two transactions to replace Titus Young and Ryan Broyles. As I noted earlier in the week, Durham is the former Georgia Bulldog teammate and roommate of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Durham was named a starter before the game, as the number two wide receiver opposite star Calvin Johnson. The number two position is comfortable for Durham, as that’s what he primarily played as a Bulldog. Durham was overshadowed by A.J. Green and other receivers while catching passes from Stafford and others.
In Sunday night’s game, Durham caught four passes for 54 yards and had nine passes thrown his way by former teammate Stafford. While Durham looked good in the first half, he did drop off a bit in the second half and missed a couple of catchable balls. Durham was responsible for three first downs during the game, including an amazing outstretched one hand catch. Durham even became a trending topic on Twitter because of his great catch.
The 6’6” Durham creates matchup problems for Lions opponents the rest of the season. With Broyles and Young both out, the number two battle is between Durham and Mike Thomas. It appears Durham has so far earned the number two spot. Once he catches on and sets his nerves aside, Durham could be a breakout candidate, as he already has chemistry with Stafford. In fact, during the practice week, Stafford used Georgia plays to explain routes and Lions plays to the newly signed receiver.
Durham was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. In three seasons with Stafford as quarterback, Durham totaled 82, 169, and 199 receiving yards. After sitting out the 2009 season with a shoulder injury, Durham had his breakout senior season. In 2010, Durham had 32 catches for 659 yards and three touchdowns.