Andre Roberts hopes for resurgence with Lions

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions wide receivers coach Robert Prince watches over his squad including wide receiver Andre Roberts during drills.

Allen Park — It wasn’t long ago that Andre Roberts looked like a wide receiver on the rise in the NFL.

After signing with the Lions, Roberts will try to rejuvenate his career.

“I’m going to tell you what they told me,” he said of the team’s expectations. “They said they see me inside and outside, so we’ll see how it all shakes out.”

In each of his first three seasons in Arizona, Roberts’ production improved, culminating in a 2012 season with 64 catches for 759 yards and five touchdowns.

Then, in 2013, Michael Floyd had a sensational second season for the Cardinals with 1,041 yards, and Roberts basically fell back to third on the depth chart, behind Larry Fitzgerald and Floyd, and had 43 catches for 471 yards.

So, as a free agent in 2014, Roberts signed with Washington, and his numbers dipped slightly, 36 catches for 453 yards. A knee injury forced him to miss four of the last six games as he finished with a career-low 11 catches for 135 yards.

Fortunately, Roberts still managed to impact games with Washington as a returner. He was the primary kickoff returner in 2014, averaging 23.7 yards, and even though he had just seven kickoff returns in 2015, he averaged 33 yards and had a 99-yard touchdown.

Roberts also had 68 career punt returns, and the team will be thoroughly evaluating both return spots this offseason, though he knows he’ll likely have to wait until the preseason to truly prove himself in that area.

Part of the decrease in offensive production, Roberts said, is that he played inside receiver with Washington as opposed to outside with Arizona, where he was more involved on deep passes. Because the Lions move their receivers around, he could be a fit for one of the last receiver spots.

“I’m a little behind in the (playbook) aspect, but I’m a quick learner,” he said.

Extra points

Running backs Ameer Abdullah and Stevan Ridley, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, wide receiver Corey Fuller, defensive tackles Caraun Reid and Stefan Charles, offensive tackle Corey Robinson and defensive back Charles Washington all sat out Tuesday.

… Free safety Glover Quin was a full participant after missing practice the last two weeks.

… Defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker participated in team drills after doing only individual drills in organized team activities.