Lions camp observations: Receiver Marvin Jones looks good to go
Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Sunday's Detroit Lions training camp practice.
► After a quiet couple practices to start camp, wide receiver Marvin Jones has been on a roll the past few days, leaving little doubt he's primed to rebound after disappointingly finishing last season on injured reserve.
Jones keep things moving in a positive direction on Sunday, with several nice grabs, combining smooth route running with good hands. In early full-team work, the receiver bested rookie Amani Oruwariye on an out route and got past veteran Rashaan Melvin on a corner pattern.
Jones had a step and inside position running a deep route again Melvin, but quarterback Matthew Stafford's ball was slightly off-target, allowing the cornerback to recover and break it up. But the duo hooked up on a deep ball later, when Stafford dropped his throw over the reach of Oruwariye. The two connected again in the back corner of the end zone against the rookie, although it's debatable whether Jones was able to get both feet in bounds.
Regardless, Jones and Stafford appear to be on the same wave length as the season approaches. The tandem have connected for 151 catches and 18 touchdowns in three years working together. It's also worth noting Jones had one of his better seasons the last time he was coming off a long-term injury, bring down a career-high 65 passes for the Bengals in 2015.
► The offense dominated an early seven-on-seven red-zone period, coming up with touchdowns on six consecutive snaps from inside the 5-yard line. Linebacker Tre Lamar surrendered back-to-back scores on throws to fullback Nick Bawden and running back Kerryon Johnson.
Bawden netted a second, more impressive touchdown catch, fielding a bullet from Stafford and holding on despite rookie Jahlani Tavai arriving at the same time as the ball. T.J. Hockenson also got in on the parade, slicing between safeties Andrew Adams and Tavon Wilson near the back of the end zone.
► It was an up-and-down day for cornerback Mike Ford, who found himself in good position on the majority of the throws his direction, but wasn't able to consistently make a play on the ball.
Ford had a nice interception early in practice, undercutting a corner pattern thrown by David Fales, intended for Chris Lacy. Ford broke up a second deep ball to Lacy later in practice.
On the negative side, Ford gave up two receptions during a two-minute drill. Despite being blanketed by the young corner, veteran receiver Jermaine Kearse made an exceptional grab along the sideline while falling out of bounds, but managed to tap both toes inside the white line for a long gain down to the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Lacy hauled in a short, back-shoulder fade against Ford to complete the drive.
► The first-team offense also scored in the two-minute drill. Given 48 seconds and no timeouts to go 49 yards, Stafford capped the action by hitting Danny Amendola on an extended post pattern, beating the coverage of nickel corner Jamal Agnew.
► The Lions wrapped their final practice before the Patriots come to town with another round of sprints up the conditioning hill. Several recently injured players didn't participate, nor did wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who was talking with a trainer.