After recovering a fumble this past Sunday against Washington, Lions defensive end Kerry Hyder could have done any number of things. He could have danced, he could have celebrated, he could have jumped up and down.
He did none of that.
“I just gave it back to the ref,” Hyder said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I don’t even remember. I recovered the fumble and gave it back.”
Gave it back to the ref? Who was he trying to be, Barry Sanders?
“I wasn’t even thinking about it,” Hyder said, laughing. “I was just glad we made a play. I was ready to see Matt and them get back on the field. I wasn’t even thinking about it.”
Getting the ball to Matthew Stafford has been a smart move for the Lions in recent weeks. Stafford has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three games – all wins. He also went 75 yards in 49 seconds to give Detroit a come-from-behind 20-17 win over Washington this past weekend.
The Lions, who started the year 1-3 – and even lost to the Bears – are now 4-3 and knocking on the NFC playoff door.
“We just know we have good players on our team,” said Hyder, who has 5.0 sacks this season. “When we’re focused and play together, we feel like we can beat anyone in the league. We just have to play to our potential and continue to focus throughout games.”
Stafford went 18-of-29 for 266 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, completing at least three passes to Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin.
“We just want to get the ball back to the offense as fast as possible,” Hyder said. “When we know we got Matt back there and we got Marvin – we got guys that can make plays – we just want to give them as many opportunities as we can and just try to get them the ball back.”
The Lions, who have played their last three games at home, have road games at Houston (4-3) on Oct. 30 and at Minnesota (5-1) on Nov. 6 before a Week 10 bye.
“When we was at home, we played with a bunch of enthusiasm and our fans were amazing,” Hyder said. “We just got to be able to bring that same enthusiasm and that same fight that we had at home. We’ve got to be able to take that on the road this week.”
Kickoff in Houston is slated for 1 p.m. ET.