Lions’ Caldwell on Ebron trade talks: ‘Next question’

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Eric Ebron wasn’t shy to talk about Sunday possibly marking his final game in Lions jersey.

Following the 20-15 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ebron answered wave after wave of questions regarding his future in Detroit and trade chatter involving the embattled tight end. In short, Ebron said it’s hard to not pay attention when your name is brought up on the trading block.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell, on the other hand, didn’t have much to say when asked about the trade talk involving Ebron on Monday.

“I do my very best not to comment on any rumors and innuendo,” said Caldwell, “and I’m going to try to remain true to that.”

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When asked if Ebron could benefit from a change of scenery, Caldwell was equally as tightlipped.

“They are rumors,” Caldwell said. “Those are rumors.”

When directly asked if Ebron will still be a Lion by the time Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline passes, Caldwell sidestepped the question.

“Still on the same lines of rumors and innuendo,” Caldwell said. “So, next question.”

So, where do the Lions go from here if Ebron he doesn’t get shipped?

According to Caldwell, Ebron will continue to fit in the offense “where he always has.” On Sunday, Ebron was on the field for 47.9 percent of the offensive plays (34 snaps) and hauled in two receptions for a season-high 58 yards, including a 44-yarder down late in the fourth quarter that put the Lions in the red zone and in position to take the lead.

However, Ebron’s role has seemingly diminished since Week 3. In the team’s first three games, he was on the field for at least 64 percent of the offensive plays. In the past four games, that number has dwindled to 50 percent or less three times.

In seven games this season, Ebron has finished with two or fewer catches six times and less than 10 yards receiving four times.

“He’s a guy who can make plays for us,” Caldwell said. “I think you saw the catch and run that he made. I just think he’s got ability. We got to get the best out of him.”

Whether that’s in Detroit or elsewhere, we’ll find out Tuesday.