ALLEN PARK >> When he’s not an NFL tight end, Tim Wright is busy at his barber shop — The Wright Cut — in Piscataway, N.J.
Luckily, he has a team in place to take over the hair-cutting duties because he signed with the Lions on Wednesday and was back on the practice field.
Wright, 27, played nine games with the Lions in 2015 and was placed on injured reserve in May 2016 with a torn ACL. He said his knee is now 100 percent.
It’s unclear what his chances are of making the 53-man roster since he is one of seven tight ends. He certainly has a good shot and, if Wednesday was an indication, he’ll get plenty of first-team reps. (Eric Ebron has not been practicing due to an undisclosed injury.)
Much of Wright’s success will depend on how well he looks in camp and the preseason games.
“He has some familiarity with the system, so we’ll try to bring him along,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said.
Here are five things to know about Wright:
1. He knows the offense and said not much has changed since last year. That could be one reason he was taking reps with the first team in practice. “I’m a true veteran and I’m a pro. I’ve been around a great organization and this is a great organization,’’ Wright said. “So I know what to expect and where to pick up where I left off.’’
2. While he had feelers from other NFL teams, he’s happy to be back in Detroit. “My heart is here. All the stuff in my drawers is Lions stuff, all the other teams I’ve been on, that stuff is in storage and I’m ready to be a Lion again,’’ said Wright who is wearing No. 82.
3. He was not just cutting hair this summer. His NFL dreams were not dead. “I was working out man, posting stuff on Instagram so people could see it,’’ Wright said. “Fortunately the coaches had checked in, they saw how I look and brought me in. I dominated the workout and they saw me.’’ He said the Lions had been in touch with his agent over the past few months. “I’m sure they had me on their radar, I felt it, so I was preparing myself. When the time struck, the opportunity came, I was ready for it. I was focusing on getting better every day.’’
4. In 2015 with the Lions, Wright had nine catches for 77 yards. Two of those nine receptions were touchdowns. In 2014 with the New England Patriots he had six touchdowns in 16 games and in 2013 with Tampa Bay he scored five times. “The touchdowns and catches are good for the books,’’ Wright said. “It’s a new year, I’ve got that under my belt. I know how I did it, my teammates know how I did it, hopefully (Matthew) Stafford knows how I did it. I’m trying to go out there and collect a few more.’’
5. The Lions were to leave for Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon. They’ll have joint practices with the Colts on Thursday and Friday leading up to their first preseason game on Sunday at Indianapolis. “I’m excited. The last two times I was traded, the next day I was into a game either starting or playing full speed. That’s what it is tomorrow at Indy. I’m ready to go rip it up,’’ Wright said.