Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
Jones did not practice all week due to a right knee injury he sustained in last weekend's 34-22 loss to the Chicago Bears. ESPN reported Friday that Jones was receiving a second opinion on the knee, which it termed a bone bruise.
Detroit's passing game has been stagnant in a pair of road games since sending wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles at the trade deadline.
The Lions failed to get in the end zone in a 24-9 loss at Minnesota on Nov. 4 and were dominated by Chicago before a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns made the final score respectable. Jones and Tate combined for 14 receptions and a pair of touchdowns in Detroit's last home game.
TJ Jones is expected to draw the starting assignment opposite Kenny Golladay. Recent acquisition Bruce Ellington also is expected to see an increase in playing time.
"Whoever is out on the field, we expect them to go perform at a high level and help us win," Lions coach Matt Patricia told the Detroit Free Press. "We have a lot of good players on our team and it just might be in different groups or it might be in the wide receiver group. Whoever it is, they just need to step up into that role and go out and perform at a high level."
Quarterback Matt Stafford has been sacked 16 times in the two games since Tate was traded.
"There's unique challenges and all that kind of stuff throughout every position," Stafford told the newspaper. "Quarterback-receiver are no different. You have to just try and steal time as much as you can to get to know guys and to get as many reps as you possibly can with guys that maybe you don't have as many reps with."
Jones, in his third season with Detroit and sixth overall, has 35 receptions for 508 yards and five touchdowns. He finished with three catches for 32 yards against the Bears after recording 13 receptions in the previous two contests.
A fifth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2012 NFL Draft, Jones had his first 1,000-yard season in 2017 with the Lions while also snagging nine scoring passes -- one shy of his career high.
The 28-year-old Jones, who registered at least 51 receptions in each of his previous four seasons, has 33 touchdown passes in 83 career games.