There are two remaining veteran WR on the roster left to look at before checking out what the rookies could bring to the table: Brian Clark and Eric Fowler.
|87||Brian Clark||WR||6-2||204||5||North Carolina State|
|18||Eric Fowler||WR||6-3||210||2||Grand Valley|
Brian Clark has returned some kicks (29 for 636 yds and a 21.9 avg) and some otherwise very pedestrian stats in his 5 years in the league. Be it practice squad, or special teams player he has managed to hang on to his NFL dreams. However, he is fast reaching the point where teams – including the Lions – are more apt to keep a younger special teamer/returner/receiver with more upside potential then they are to keep Mr. Clark. With a crowded WR battle, he will need to somehow find a way do differentiate himself from the crowd, or he will find himself once again bouncing around. His best season was with Tampa Bay last year where he had 6 catches for 65 yards as a receiver. IF he is going to make this squad it will be as a returner. That means he needs to at least beat out Tim Toone and Derrick Williams, among others to have a shot. His chances of being on the final roster are pretty slim and, like Marko Mitchell, he will be lucky to make it to camp without being cut when they sign a remaining draft pick.
Eric Fowler has been bouncing back and forth between team and practice squad for two years. I’m sure the team is happy he helped introduce them to heavy cardio in the form of boxing training, but it will take more than that for him to make the team. He has yet to log a regular season catch and is fast running out of opportunities. You can only be on the practice squad so long and his time is coming up. At this point, he just plain hasn’t shown anything on the field either in pre-season, or apparently in practice, to justify to the coaches getting him on the field. This has to be even more disconcerting when you think of the injury issues they had at WR last season. Despite being a hometown guy, once the Practice Squad time is done, at this point so is Mr. Fowler.
Both Fowler and Clark have the veterans in front of them to beat out, and the rookies breathing down their necks. Unfortunately for them, I don’t think they are winning both battles.