Lions' WR Bruce Ellington is playing with only part of his hamstring muscles

Bruce Ellington will make his third start at wide receiver for the Detroit Lions after starting the season on his couch. And he’s doing it with only one full hamstring, a truth he dropped during an interview with reporters Tuesday morning.

Ellington suffered hamstring injuries with the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans and remained unsigned until Nov. 6, when the Lions brought him in to restock the receiver corps.

Ellington playing without one of three hamstring muscles

Kyle Meinke of summarized the conversation with the surprise any of us would when Ellington answered if his hamstring had fully recovered.

“I don’t know if it’s fully recovered,” he said, “because they removed it. So I don’t have it anymore.”

Hold up. Um, what?

“It’s the semitendinosus,” Ellington said. “That muscle they took away.”

The semitendinosus is located at the back of the thigh and is one of three hamstring muscles. Its job is to flex the knee and extend the hip.

Doctors suggested removing the hamstring after Ellington tore it in the 2016 preseason. They opted against repairing it since it would likely produce scar tissue and put him at greater risk of injury for the remainder of his career.

Former Texans star Andre Johnson also had the procedure, the idea of which Ellington said “freaked me out.”

Ellington can still jump and dunk, he said, as well as perform everything needed to be an NFL receiver. Which is a good thing for the Lions, who are aching for help in that department.

Bruce Ellington signed with the Detroit Lions this month.(Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bruce Ellington signed with the Detroit Lions this month.(Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Lions working to fill WR void

Detroit traded top receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles at the deadline, moving them to sign Ellington in his stead. Then Marvin Jones suffered a knee injury; Monday the team put him on injured reserve.

Ellington has had to step up, one full hamstring and all. He started Nov. 18 against the Carolina Panthers, 12 days after signing, and played 81.8 percent of the snaps in a Thanksgiving day loss to the Chicago Bears. He has a total of 12 catches for 80 yards.

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