It’s football full-time for Lions’ Washington now

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Dwayne Washington

Lions rookie running back Dwayne Washington participated in just one of the team’s nine organized team activities practices, but last Thursday, he received several touches.

It wasn’t a perfect day for Washington by any means as he dropped a perfect pass in the flat and fumbled an exchange with the quarterback. But after spending the first month of his NFL career finishing his scholastic requirements at Washington, he was glad to have some opportunities.

“I feel like it went pretty smooth,” he said. “Physically, I’m there, but mentally, I’ve just got to work on my game. Overall, I came out here and didn’t think I was going to catch on this fast.”

A seventh-round pick this year, Washington graduated this weekend, but now, he can turn all of his attention to football. He won’t be the first player who tries to overcome some lost time as a rookie — Lions cornerback Alex Carter stayed at Stanford last offseason — and technology helps ease what could’ve been a difficult situation.

Five things to watch in Lions minicamp

“I had my playbook with me at home, so it made it kind of easy,” he said. “Whatever the NFL required me to do, I did it being home. Just was in my playbook, looking at film, taking notes.”

The Lions will surely continue to give Washington looks this week during minicamp, but without pads, it’ll be tough to evaluate him and the rest of the running backs. However, at 6-foot-1, 223 pounds and with a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, he has some skills that could make him useful to the Lions early in his career.

Personnel dept.

In addition to signing wide receiver Andre Roberts, the Lions added defensive back Keith Lewis. Lewis went undrafted out of Virginia-Lynchburg in 2014 and spent time with the Jets’ practice squad as a rookie and San Diego’s practice squad in 2015.

To make room for Lewis, the Lions waived wide receiver Austin Willis.

The team also placed wide receiver Corey Washington, who was waived last Friday, on injured reserve.