The Detroit Lions may not be close to releasing troubled receiver Titus Young, but his inactive status Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts is the clearest sign yet that the 2011 second-round pick could be shelved for the rest of the season.
Young won't play for the second consecutive week, likely a result of recent disciplinary problems that landed him directly in Jim Schwartz's doghouse. He was suspended for the Lions' loss to the Houston Texans in Week 12 because of insubordinate actions.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that the Lions were once again keeping Young off the 46-man active list in Week 13. Detroit hosts Indianapolis at 1 p.m. ET, but the 23-yard receiver wasn't even at the stadium as of 11 a.m. ET.
Titus Young inactive for second straight game. Source saying he was not at the stadium as of 11 am
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 2, 2012
More than likely, the Lions told Young before Sunday that he would be inactive, which would help explain his absence from the facility. But the chances of Young playing again during the final four games of the 2012 season appear to be slimming greatly.
According to Anwar Richardson of MLive.com, Schwartz said this week that the possibility of shelving Young for the rest of the year exists.
Potentially. This is a decision who the best 46 were on Sunday (this past week against the Houston Texans). That will continue to be evaluated. There's been times he's been very productive in our offense. He's been an asset for our offense, an asset for our team. That's where he needs to get back to.
Young was originally suspended for insubordinate actions, stemming from his decision to purposely line up in wrong positions during the Lions' 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.
On one such play in the second half, Young ignored direction from left tackle Riley Reiff that he was in the wrong position. A confused mess ensued, and the Lions jumped offside. Later, television cameras caught Lions receiver coach Shawn Jefferson in a heated exchanged with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. The discussion centered around taking Young out of the football game.
In the last few days, even teammates are publicly ripping Young.
Center Dominic Raiola, never shy to voice his opinion, told Detroit reporters this week that the Lions offense has "moved on" from Young. Using colorful language, Raiola painted a locker room picture that goes past just annoyance with the boneheaded receiver.
ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifter also guessed that Young's inclusion on the inactive list Sunday could mean he is held out the rest of the season.
To no surprise, the Detroit Lions deactivated receiver Titus Young for the second consecutive week. Rookie Ryan Broyles will start against the Indianapolis Colts. Teammates are openly and publicly dismissing Young as a teammate, and it wouldn't be surprising if he doesn't play again this season.
The Lions likely aren't ready to completely give up on a young and talented asset, but it's clear now that a message is being sent to 2011 second-round pick. Young's on his last straw in Detroit, and he might not get his next chance with the Lions until the 2013 season, at the earliest.