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Lions searching for 'creative' ways to get Marvin Jones more involved

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions have averaged more than 30 points in the past two games, but starting wide receiver Marvin Jones' role in the outputs has been noticeably absent. 

In those two games, a loss to New Orleans and win over Jacksonville, Jones has been targeted seven times. He's caught three of those throws for just 17 yards. You'd have to go back to November of 2016, his first year with the Lions, to find a similarly unproductive two-game stretch. 

Lions receiver Marvin Jones (11) was held to two catches in Sunday's win at Jacksonville.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell acknowledged it's been frustrating for the veteran receiver and the team is working on rectifying the situation. 

More: After defense's best outing, Lions coordinator pokes fun at media critiques

"Does he want the ball? Absolutely," Bevell said Tuesday. "Do we want him to have the ball in his hands? Absolutely. And we're going to continue to look for ways and try to get creative to make sure that the ball goes to him.

"Sometimes you have a game plan that, hey, this play is gonna go to him, this play is gonna go to him, then the defense can dictate a little bit differently, just in terms of what coverage comes. I think he's been fully understanding of that. He knows the opportunities that we've been trying to get him, but we'll continue to work to get him more involved."

To Jones' credit, Bevell praised the little, under-the-radar things the receiver has been doing that might not be noticed or appreciated by the casual observer. 

"I really think Marv has done a really nice job for us," Bevell said. "I kind of complimented him yesterday because wide receivers want to catch the ball. They want to catch and run and make big plays that way. But if you go back and look at some of the dirty work that he's done in the run game, I think it really speaks a lot to who he is and how much he wants to help us offensively just any way that he can."

Jones, 30, is currently in the final year of the contract he signed with the Lions in 2016.

In his four-plus seasons with the franchise, he's caught 227 passes for 3,464 and 28 touchdowns. This season, he's on track for 45 receptions, 467 yards and three scores, which would be his lowest output in all three areas since his 2012 rookie season. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers