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DJ Chark: 'Standard Is Pretty High' in Detroit

The Detroit Lions are hoping to create a winning standard that is sustainable.

Wide receiver DJ Chark is happy to have a new NFL home in Detroit.

The fifth-year pro spent his first four seasons in the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars, with whom he was a second-round draft pick in 2018.

In 43 games with the Jaguars, the LSU product amassed 147 receptions for 2,042 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He played in just four games in 2021, though, due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 4 of the season.

He told reporters Wednesday that he’s excited to get back on the field and contribute to his new team.

“I enjoy coming to work, competing, the workouts, being able to just run again, after sitting much on the couch, then rehabbing. It feels good to be part of practice, and see myself on film, be able to critique myself,” Chark said. “So, this whole journey for me, here right now, is a breath of fresh air. I’m just excited to be able to be back out here. I don’t believe I’m where I want to be at. But, also, I’m the type of person where I’m never who I want to be, because at that point, you become complacent.”

Chark joins a Lions team that developed an identity of playing until the final whistle a season ago, even as the losses piled up. It’s due in part to the never-say-never nature of the team’s head coach, Dan Campbell.

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Campbell and his counterparts on Detroit’s coaching staff expect each member of the Lions’ 53-man roster to hold themselves to a high standard, which is something that drew Chark to the Motor City.


“It’s understood that every single time you play in the NFL, you’re trying to win and the team that wins the most is the team that’s playing last. So, that’s always how it goes,” Chark said. “And, it’s good to have that goal and to set that standard, because it makes you, when you have the days that aren’t good, you have to come in the next day and compete and make it better, because you’re trying to achieve something and trying to hit a mark. So, that’s definitely the feeling around here, to create a standard. I hear that word a lot.”

What is that “standard,” you may ask, that’s been bandied about inside the Lions’ Allen Park practice facility by the likes of offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El?

“I feel like that standard is pretty high, and the biggest part of that standard is effort and being able to compete,” Chark said.

Speaking of being able to compete, Chark indicated that Detroit’s medical staff hasn’t placed any major restrictions on him, as he’s gone through the process of recovering from his season-ending ankle ailment from a year ago.

“If it’s bothering me, I don’t have to push it as hard, because they want me to be where I’m my peak when the season starts and things like that,” Chark commented. “But, no, I do everything that everyone else does. That’s just how I am. I wouldn’t feel good going home knowing that I didn’t do whatever the other guys are doing, and I feel like that’s how you earn your respect and your keep around here.”