The Detroit Lions are benching wide receiver Titus Young this week after what coach Jim Schwartz called ”unacceptable” behavior during Sunday’s loss to Green Bay.
Schwartz did not characterize the move as a suspension, but he said Young was sent home from the team’s practice facility Monday and will be inactive for Detroit’s game against Houston on Thanksgiving. The coach did not say what Young specifically did wrong.
”When you play a team sport, you need to put team before yourself,” Schwartz said. ”There’s no room for selfish behavior.”
Young, a second-year receiver out of Boise State, has 33 catches for 383 yards and four touchdowns this season. He caught one pass for 24 yards Sunday.
Young was involved in an altercation with teammate Louis Delmas last offseason. When he was in college, he missed most of the 2008 season for disciplinary reasons.
”That is ground that we’ve already covered, and I thought that we would be past this, but we haven’t been,” Schwartz said. ”His behavior on Sunday was unacceptable, and it hurt the team, particularly on offense.”
The Lions lost 24-20 to Green Bay, falling to 4-6. With their playoff hopes dwindling, they face Houston (9-1) on Thursday. The Texans enter the game tied for the NFL’s best record.
At times, Young has looked like an ideal complement to star receiver Calvin Johnson. Young caught nine passes for 100 yards against Seattle last month, including the winning touchdown in the final minute. But now he’s facing another setback.
”Coach felt it necessary, and I obviously support our head coach,” quarterback Matthew Staffordsaid. ”I support our players too. I want the best for everybody out here.”
Schwartz said he doubts Young will practice Tuesday.
Young’s demotion wasn’t the only issue Schwartz had to address Monday. Detroit had to settle for a field goal deep in Green Bay territory when a touchdown would have given the Lions a 10-point lead. Then the Packers promptly drove for a TD and took a 21-20 advantage, and Detroit turned over the ball on downs.
Toward the end of the game, Detroit receivers coach Shawn Jefferson was seen screaming in the direction of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
”We certainly don’t want to let our emotions get the best of us on the sideline,” Schwartz said. ”I’ve been a part of the NFL for a long time, and there’s very rarely a game that goes by that something is not said, usually over the headset or something, that somebody takes offense to or interprets the wrong way.
”It was the frustration of the game situation. We had a chance to pretty much seal the game with a touchdown. We didn’t get that done. We had a chance after that to drive down and potentially get a game-winning field goal, which we’ve done quite a few times. We didn’t get that done.”
Schwartz said the two assistants are fine going forward.
”The thing about it is they were both on the same side of the argument, but in the heat of the moment, they ended up missing that fact,” Schwartz said.