Detroit Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell said he felt helpless watching his team from home.
And the Lions looked helpless in a 47-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bevell is back from quarantine after being a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, an exposure that made him the first head coach to miss a game because of the league’s protocols during the pandemic.
Unable to have any contact with the team, Bevell watched the game from his house.
“One of my daughters was there,” he said Monday. “The rest of my family went to the game.”
He clapped. He screamed. He put his hands on his head.
“All kinds of emotions,” Bevell said.
Long-suffering fans know the feeling.
Mercifully, the Lions (5-10) host Minnesota (6-9) on Sunday and the best they can do in the standings is finish tied for third in the NFC North.
“They’re giving us the 16th game, another opportunity, regardless of scenario situations,” Bevell said. “This is what we do, so we want to go play. We want to put our best foot forward. We want to play the way that we’re capable of playing and look for a win and be able to go out the way that we would like to go out.”
A win, though, would hurt Detroit’s position in the draft, where it needs to find an influx of talent to turn around a franchise with only one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title.
Pro Bowler Jack Fox has the highest gross (49.4) and net average (45.1) on punts through the first 50 of any player in league history.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Former general manager Bob Quinn gave Chase Daniel a $13 million, three-year deal to improve Detroit’s backup quarterback situation, but Daniel has struggled in relief of Matthew Stafford, who left Saturday’s game with an ankle injury.
If Stafford can’t play against the Vikings, the Lions may want to take a look at second-year pro David Blough.
Jamal Agnew. The special teams ace returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown, preventing the Lions from getting shut out for a second time this season. He has five scores on punt and kickoff returns to lead the league since 2007, when Detroit drafted him in the fifth round.
Stafford rolled his right ankle early against Tampa Bay and didn’t return. Detroit’s No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft has no plans to call it a season after adding an ankle ailment to his banged-up ribs and thumb.
“If I’m good, I want to be out there and play,” he said.
The Lions signed safety Jayron Kearse in the offseason to a $2 million, one-year contract and cut him on Monday. He started seven games — two more than he did in four years with the Vikings — and played in 11. He did not have an interception and defended just two passes.