Allen Park — Rookie Jamal Agnew has helped make an instant impact and provide a spark in the Lions’ return game this season.
On Sunday, though, coach Jim Caldwell elected to look for a different source.
After playing just two snaps on special teams and returning one kick for 11 yards during the Lions’ 30-26 heartbreaker to the Falcons, Agnew’s day ended early as he was replaced by TJ Jones on kickoffs and Golden Tate on punt returns.
According to Caldwell, Agnew was still available late in the game as a return man and his removal wasn’t injury related.
“There’s lots of different things that happen during the course of ball games,” Caldwell said Monday. “He just had – just a couple things popped up and we just thought we just made a little bit of an adjustment. So, he’ll be fine.
“We put Golden back there obviously because we talked about early on, you (media) asked me who we’d see back there and I said you’d probably see both situations that we do Golden in certain instances.”
Following Agnew’s 11-yard return on Atlanta’s first kickoff, the next six kicks by Matt Bosher all resulted in a touchback. The Falcons also didn’t punt until their final two drives in the fourth quarter, which led to a 10-yard return and a fair catch by Tate.
Over the first two games, Agnew was averaging 16.5 yards per kick return and 24.8 yards per punt return, a gaudy number thanks to his highlight-reel, 88-yard touchdown against the Giants in Week 2.
"We still have a lot of faith in Jamal,” Caldwell said. “He'll do well."
The Lions signed offensive tackle Dan Skipper to the practice squad.
An undrafted rookie free agent out of Arkansas, Skipper (6-foot-10, 311 pounds) appeared in four preseason games with the Cowboys and spent time on their practice squad.
To make room for Skipper, the Lions released offensive tackle Storm Norton.