Lions surprisingly cut WR TJ Jones

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
TJ Jones

Allen Park -- At one point this offseason, TJ Jones was in line to be the Detroit Lions' third wide receiver. Now, he's looking for a new opportunity.

In a bit a surprise move, the Lions waived Jones on Saturday, two years after selecting him in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

Jones' departure likely signifies at least one of the team's two undrafted free agents at the receiver position, Jay Lee or Jace Billingsley, did enough throughout the preseason to earn a roster spot. In the exhibition finale against the Buffalo Bills, the pair combined for 13 receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns.

The emergence of multiple return man options also made Jones expendable. Billingsley and veteran Andre Roberts both capably handled punts and kicks this offseason, while rookie running back Dwayne Washington also flashed big-play ability on kickoffs.

Jones missed his entire rookie season in Detroit with a nerve injury, a lingering side effect from a pre-draft shoulder surgery. He earned a roster spot in 2015 and appeared in 10 games, catching 10 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown. He also returned five kickoffs and seven punts, averaging 21.2 and 8.4 yards.

In the preseason, Jones played 63 offensive snaps, catching four passes for 54 yards. He did not play in the finale against the Bills.

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