Former Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin not only recorded the first first-down of the Detroit Lions season on Thursday but also converted the NFL’s first fake of the season.
With the Lions staring down a 3 and out on just their second drive of the season, Detroit lined up to punt the ball away on 4th and 2 from their own 17-yard line.
Reeves-Maybin, in his first season back with the Lions, received the direct snap from the center and plowed forward for the first down. The risky play from head coach Dan Campbell paid off in a huge way thanks to special teams veteran Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 8, 2023
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The former Vol’s play proved to be extremely valuable for Detroit. Quarterback Jared Goff led the Lions down to the field and scored a touchdown on a 9-yard pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown for the NFL’s first of the season.
Reeves-Maybin spent the first five years of his career in Detroit after being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After five years, though, Reeves-Maybin signed a two-year contract with the Houston Texas but was cut after only one. The Lions and Campbell picked back up the reliable veteran as a specialist as he changed to No. 42 from his old Detroit number of 44.
Reeves-Maybin was named one of six captains on the Lions’ 2023 roster this offseason.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin is one of five former Tennessee players in this game joining Lions defensive backs Emmanuel Mosley and Cam Sutton and quarterback Hendon Hooker. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs have Trey Smith as the starting right guard.
Hooker is said to be making extremely positive progress during his rehab and is likely to be medically cleared in the coming weeks or months.
The Lions currently lead the Chiefs by a score of 7-0 at the end of the first quarter at the time of this publication.