East Rutherford, N.J. — In a homecoming game for Eric Ebron, the Detroit Lions tight end made some noise with his play, and maybe a little bit with his mouth.
Ebron, a Newark, N.J. native, grew up a Giants fan. He still has plenty of family in the area who live only a short drive away from MetLife Stadium. So it was good to put on a show in front of those closest to him.
“It’s definitely special,” Ebron said.
He led the Lions with five catches for 42 yards in the 24-10 victory Monday night, including a seven-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Given his big personality, you might have expected Ebron to have an elaborate celebration planned, maybe even one incorporating his teammates, since that’s now allowed by NFL rules. Instead, he capped his triumph by simply tossing the ball in the air.
“I was pissed off,” Ebron said. “I was pissed off at that little punk of a safety they’ve got over there.”
That “punk safety” is Landon Collins, an All-Pro in 2016, who had popped Ebron with a vicious hit the previous series. Not that he needed it given the stage, but the blow seemed to add another log to the young tight end’s competitive fire.
“Collins, he played a good game, that hit just pissed me off and I didn’t feel like celebrating,” Ebron said. “I wasn’t in that kind of joyful mood. It was still a good game. He played his butt off trying to guard me. I commend him for that.”
After the touchdown, Ebron and Collins got in a post-play spat, coming helmet-to-helmet and exchanging words before being separated by teammates.
“I just told him good hit,” Ebron said with a smile. “He may have said some other things, but it’s cool.”