Miami Gardens, Fla. — It's been something of a start-stop season for Detroit Lions tight end Michael Roberts, but things appear back on the upswing after Sunday's two-touchdown performance in the 32-21 victory over the Dolphins.
After a fast start to the offseason that generated buzz about a possible breakout, Roberts' momentum seemed to stall after he suffered a lower body injury in the first week of training camp.
After returning to the field, his performance through training camp and preseason was so disappointing there was thought he might be on the roster bubble.
Roberts saw limited action the first couple couple weeks of the regular season, but a fourth-quarter touchdown against the 49ers in Week 2 — his first as a professional — sparked renewed optimism.
It lasted all of a week. The following Friday, Roberts suffered a knee injury in practice, one that would sideline him the next three games. This time, he made certain not to lose his momentum.
Roberts hauled in three catches for 48 yards against the Dolphins — highlighted by touchdown grabs of 15 and four yards — and played a big role in Detroit's victory. It was a relief for the second-year tight end.
"Mentally, it means a lot," Roberts aid. "Going through an injury, especially with the momentum I felt I had, it was very discouraging for me. Just to be able to pick back up where I left off, mentally, it's a big thing for me."
Roberts' other catch, a 29-yarder, set the Lions up at the 2-yard line during Detroit's third scoring drive. And while he relishes the opportunity to make plays for his team, he doesn't want the dirty work he does as a blocker to be lost in the conversation.
"I honestly look to be an all-around tight end, every down," he said. "I take a lot of pride in my blocking. I hope you guys seen that, too."