Offensive linemen on the Detroit Lions aren’t known for catching touchdown passes unless their name is Taylor Decker, and that proved true for Matt Nelson this past week.
During Week 17, Nelson was targeted near the goal line given the team’s lack of a tight end presence. The play went off without a hitch. One problem? Nelson wasn’t able to catch the football, dropping it just before he reached the goal line.

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As a result of that play, Nelson got some grief. Perhaps not from the sources that one would think on the internet or in the fanbase, however, but at home. According to Nelson when speaking with the media on January 5, his wife was amongst the first to beat him up for dropping the pass, telling him if it hits the hands, it’s got to be a catch

The Lions got into the end zone quickly after with Decker catching a pass, but that doesn’t change the fact that Nelson should have gotten closer to a score if not scored himself one play before. That’s something which his wife is pleased to let him know about.

Watch Nelson Whiff on Completion

Just before Decker hauled in the touchdown pass, the Lions attempted another pass to a linemen in the form of Nelson. It didn’t go well, however. Nelson looked to be wide open on the play and running free, but the pass hit him in the hands and ate him up near the goal line. Here’s a look at the play as it happened:

Even if Nelson had caught the pass, chances are he may not have scored on the play, but it would have been closer to the goal line for Detroit’s offense. That doesn’t change the fact that he should have made the play and cashed in the catch. Decker picked him up, however, which was positive to see.

Nelson’s Stats & Highlights

Coming from Iowa, Nelson was a starter along the team’s defensive line. He was pretty solid statistically, putting up 111 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, 9 pass break-ups, and 1 forced fumble. Considering his 6-8 size, He had the frame to be a success in the NFL somewhere, and the Lions picked him up as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and began transitioning him to the offensive side of the ball. He bulked up a bit and as played a key role for the Lions’ practice squad at times before being elevated to the roster.

Here’s some highlights of Nelson playing defensive line in college:

Obviously, Nelson’s claim to fame to this point in the pros will be wiping out one of the best pass rushers in the NFL i Khalil Mack when nobody thought he was capable of the feat. Now that he’s dropped the pass, he might have a new claim to fame, though.

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