Lions’ Golden Tate benched after ‘silly mistake’

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Golden Tate catches the two-point conversion in the end zone in front of the Bears' Harold Jones-Quartey and Jerrell Freeman to put the Lions down by only three points late in the fourth quarter.

Chicago – Wide receiver Golden Tate hit a new low in the Detroit Lions’ 17-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. Already performing well below expectations, Tate was benched to open the third quarter after a route miscommunication at the end of the first half resulted in a critical interception.

On the play, Tate ran a vertical route while quarterback Matthew Stafford expected the receiver to cut horizontally toward the sideline, allowing Bears cornerback Jacoby Glenn to make the easy pick.

Stafford berated Tate immediate after the play, but during his postgame news conference, the quarterback tried to take the blame for the mistake.

“At the end of the day, communication is on the quarterback, so I have to do a better job of getting what I want out to them,” Stafford said.

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Tate also looked to shoulder responsibility, saying he missed a pre-snap signal.

“Just a silly mistake on my part,” Tate said. “That cost us three points. It’s tough. That can’t happen in this offense. This team expects more out of me, so I’ve got to be on point.”

Tate started the second half on the bench and was used sparingly down the stretch, a move coach Jim Caldwell attempted to play off as a premeditated decision not related to the turnover.

“We wanted to give Andre (Roberts) a chance,” Caldwell said. “It was our plan beforehand.”

In the locker room, Tate confirmed getting Roberts more playing time had been discussed.

Coming into the game against the Bears, Tate had played 86.8 percent of the team’s offensive snaps and was on the field at a similar clip during the first half.

He finished the game with just one catch for one yard. He also had a two-point conversion. For the year, Tate has 14 grabs for 95 yards, well off his pace from the previous two seasons, when he averaged 94 receptions and 1,072 yards.

He said he’s keeping a positive attitude and will look to put in some extra work to get back to that level.

“I’m a very accountable person and I’m going to need to dig deep and find a way,” Tate said. “Whether that’s studying, spending another hour in the playbook, at the facility, with Matt. Whatever I need to do, I need to find a way to be more of an asset to this team. Right now, I’m not coming through.”