Grand finale? Marvin Jones has monster performance in possible last game with Lions

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

Detroit — There’s a lot of uncertainty in the Detroit Lions organization these days. 

With a rebuild seemingly on the horizon alongside a new general manager and coach, that leaves little room for aging veterans who are sure to eat up a large chunk of cap space. 

So with Marvin Jones fulfilling the final obligations of his five-year, $40 million contract in Sunday’s 37-35 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, there’s a decent chance he won’t be returning in a Lions uniform next season.

If that turns out to be the case, his grand finale was rather epic.

Lions wide receivers Danny Amendola and Marvin Jones Jr. hug on the field after a loss to the Vikings.

Jones caught eight passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, and also had a 38-yard touchdown reception inexplicably wiped off the board in the fourth quarter. That’s the second-most yards for Jones in a Lions uniform, and his ninth multi-touchdown game since signing with the Lions in 2016.

His first touchdown catch, a 43-yard reception that gave the Lions a 6-0 lead, was the 50th of his career.

“Marv was hot early and I was going to keep feeding him,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. 

“I was just happy for him. He’s been a really good player for us for five years, and I’ve enjoyed playing with him. … The guy’s an incredible talent, a great friend of mine, and a great teammate. Just happy he had a big day.”

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Jones reciprocated those feelings toward his quarterback, saying that today was one of the “many great moments with him,” and the two both harkened a message of uncertainty about whether this truly was their last dance together: “Who knows?”

The overturned touchdown marked the second time in four games that Jones has had a huge pass wiped off the board without indisputable video evidence to overturn it. 

Jones said he had no inclination that the touchdown might be called back when he started jogging toward the sideline.

“I didn’t know at all,” Jones said. “When they stopped everything and (said) it’s under review, I’m like, ‘Literally why?’”

He was told, “The ball moved,” to which Jones responded, “But did it hit the ground?”

“It sucks, because we’ve become accustomed to calls like that here. I don’t know why. It is what it is,” Jones said.

Since joining Detroit in 2016, Jones ranks eighth league-wide in touchdown catches with 36.

Veteran Lions running back Adrian Peterson, who has plenty of his own question marks to face before next season, said that spending a year with Jones has made him realize “you don’t get a lot of guys that come around like him.”

“(He’s) even-keeled,” Peterson said. “When he gets on the field and he shows up, it’s not surprising to me. He’s a professional, and he’s dependable. Every time the ball goes in his direction, I automatically assume a completion.”

“This organization, you want to keep that guy … he’s a big piece.”