Things could have been worse for Josh Reynolds with the Tennessee Titans.
After all, for nine games he was part of a good team, one that had the best record in the AFC when he asked to be released this week.
His desire for an opportunity to get on the field regularly outweighed the chance to be part of a playoff team, though. He got what he wanted when the Detroit Lions claimed him off waivers and added him to their wide receiver group Wednesday.
“I didn’t leave to go to a winning team, otherwise, I would’ve stayed in Tennessee,” Reynolds said Thursday via All Lions. “I came to compete and come to a great culture, and that’s what I’m feeling. It’s not even been 24 hours yet, and I can already feel the love that everyone has for each other and just the connection that everybody’s got.”
With the Lions, the NFL’s only winless team at 0-8, Reynolds is the most experienced and most accomplished player in his position group with 69 games played and 123 career receptions. The other veterans in the room include Geronimo Allison (48 games, 89 receptions), former Titans receiver/returner Kalif Raymond (43 games, 45 receptions) and KhaDarel Hodge (46 games, 23 receptions).
It is a drastically different set of circumstances than what he faced with Tennessee, which had Pro Bowlers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones as well as veterans Chester Rogers and Marcus Johnson and emerging second-year pro Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
“I’ve been preparing my whole career for it,” Reynolds said. “Preparing like I was a starter, regardless of whether I was or not. It’s time for it to pay off, and that’s why I’m excited for it, man.”
When he signed a one-year, $1.75 million free-agent deal with the Titans in March after four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, he expected he would replace Corey Davis as the No. 2 receiver behind Brown. Then Tennessee acquired Jones in a trade, Reynolds had injury issues throughout the offseason and preseason and played just five of the first nine games. Three times, he was a healthy scratch.
“I’m a big receiver,” Reynolds said. “Can compete for plays, compete for downfield balls. Being with the Rams, I was able to kind of refine my route running a little bit, be a slot a little bit more over there, compared to being just an outside receiver. So, I kind of see myself as a well-rounded receiver.”