Good news out of Detroit Lions training camp today. Wide receiver Golden Tate has been activated off the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list. The Lions announced the news before the team took the field for the first training camp practice Monday morning.
WR Golden Tate has been taken off PUP and will practice with #Lions today
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) July 28, 2014
Tate originally injured his shoulder during an OTA practice earlier in the offseason, and was placed on the PUP list as a precaution when he reported to camp last Tuesday.[realted-category]
It’s a very welcomed return, as Tate is set to start the 2014 season opposite Pro Bowl wideout Calvin Johnson in Detroit.
The Lions signed Tate to a 5-year, $31 million contract this offseason due in large part to his sure-handed receiving abilities. The Lions lead the league in dropped passes in 2013 with 58 and hope that Tate’s presence will help rectify that problem.
Tate’s hands are so good in fact, that the former Seattle Seahawk only dropped only five of a possible 149 catchable passes since 2011. That’s good enough for best catch rate percentage of any NFL wideout in that time frame, as quoted from ProFootballFocus.
Tate himself also believes his sure-handedness will translate into good things in the Motor City.
“One thing that I did notice from watching Stafford throw the ball today when I was meeting with Coach (Joe) Lombardi is that sometimes Stafford will throw a covered guy open,” he said. “What I mean by that is he might throw a back-shoulder, or throw it high and to the right, and I feel like that’s one thing I excel at, is catching low balls and balls that are outside my frame.
“So, I strongly believe that I’m going to help Stafford with his completions and also help Calvin (Johnson) and help this offense.”
Tate is also coming off his best professional season, catching 64 passes for 898 yards and five touchdowns for the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
The Lions now have only two players remaining on the PUP list with Tate’s return. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and rookie receiver TJ Jones are both still nursing shoulder injuries. Head coach Jim Caldwell said Sunday that both players were progressing well but offered no timetables for their returns.