Bubble watch for Detroit Lions on Hard Knocks: 3rd episode focuses on battle for roster spots

Detroit snapped eight-game preseason losing streak with win over Colts

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 19: Craig Reynolds #46 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball against against the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) (Mike Mulholland, 2021 Getty Images)

DETROIT – Tuesday was part three of HBO’s Hard Knocks series featuring the Detroit Lions, and this week’s episode focused on players on the bubble, which is keeping everyone on their toes, like Kalil Pimpleton.

Pimpleton, 23, is a 5′9, 175-pound rookie wide receiver out of Central Michigan who has quick feet and unique hand-eye coordination, which caught the attention of the camera crew and the Lions players and staff with his juggling act during his rookie introduction.

Although it got the attention of his training camp teammates, the undrafted rookie has his hands full as he tries to catch on with the organization.

Pimpleton is one of nine wideouts on the current roster, and more than likely, the team will keep seven, but he says making the roster would be a blessing.

“I’ve dreamt of playing in the NFL since I could remember, so to be officially on the 53-man roster would be an accomplishment and a blessing,” Pimpleton said.

Read: 6 Hard Knocks takeaways: Fighting ‘Same Old Lions’ culture, better defense, ‘winning is everything’

Pimpleton has the feet of a cheetah as his speed is made for the pro level, which head coach Dan Campbell noticed during practice.

“Pimp, little things I always think about for you, I’m thinking about in group when you ran that spear, that deep cross, man, don’t jump unless you have to,” said Campbell. “The greatest assets you got are your feet, your quickness, so why would you ever want your feet off of the ground if you don’t have to?”

Pimpleton got his shot to play in the first half of preseason game two against the Indianapolis Colts, but his hands failed him early, as he bobbled a would-be touchdown out of bounds.

Read: It’s a Hard Knocks life for Detroit, as second episode goes behind scenes of Lions’ preseason loss

David Blough

David Blough is fighting to be Jared Goff’s backup, but his unforced error in the team’s lone home preseason game vs. the Atlanta Falcons proved pivotal, forcing Detroit to be the same old Lions.

Blough got the start vs. the Colts, and during the team’s two-minute offense, he connected with Pimpleton a few times to move the chains, leading to a third-down touchdown to receiver Tom Kennedy to end the half.

Tom Kennedy

Kennedy didn’t have any lines in episode three of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but he made a cameo as a background actor by letting his play do all of his talking.

He finished the game with two touchdowns, which caught the attention of a football legend who made Kennedy’s jersey number recognizable for future generations.

Former Cincinnati Bengals great and future NFL Hall of Fame receiver Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson took to Twitter to show Kennedy some love by saying, “Tommy Kennedy, I now know your name, and you’ve put me on notice.”

Kennedy has been balling thus far through two games as he led the league in week one of the preseason with 104 yards on eight catches against the Falcons.

Obinna Eze

Obinna Eze is a rookie offensive lineman out of Texas Christian University and Memphis. He’s full of potential.

He showed the Lions that he has more to offer as the man the team nicknamed EZ made life hard for the Colts defensive line while the lions went on a nine-minute, 18-play drive that ended with a touchdown, ultimately ending the game snapping an eight-game preseason losing streak.

Eze, 24, is a 6′8, 324-pound undrafted rookie out of TCU. He came to America from Nigeria, where he specialized in basketball, but during his junior year in high school, he fell in love with the game of football, and now he’s hoping to make his dreams come to fruition.

Memphis offensive lineman Obinna Eze (77) celebrates after Memphis kicked a field goal against Penn State in the first half of the NCAA Cotton Bowl college football game, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Craig Reynolds

There was also a great moment between running back Craig Reynolds and his older brother, Eric Reynolds, who has never seen his younger brother play football because he’s been incarcerated since the Lions tailback was in the sixth grade.

If you haven’t seen the episode yet, the scene between the two brothers was compelling and impactful, as they spoke over FaceTime. The journey of the two highlights the perspective of what to do and what not to do.

Detroit Lions running back Craig Reynolds is caught by Arizona Cardinals free safeties Jalen Thompson, top, and Deionte Thompson (22) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

What did you like from episode three? Who would you like to see on the 53-man roster? Did any other scenes inspire you?

About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.