TRAVERSE CITY — Darren Keyton is waiting for a call.
Only a few days removed from being among the Detroit Lions’ final cuts, the former Traverse City West offensive lineman is keeping his phone handy, hoping the Lions or another NFL team need some help along the line.
“I’m just going to keep working out and working,” said Keyton, a 300-pound guard/center who starred at Central Michigan University. “Staying strong, kind of waiting to see what happens the next couple weeks with injuries and things like that.”
Keyton said the Lions told him they liked him, but just didn’t have enough roster spots to keep the undrafted rookie.
“(They said) I did a great job and they really liked me,” Keyton said. “But it just didn’t work with the numbers and what they may need right now. (They said) to stay in shape and be ready for a call.”
The ability to play both right guard and left guard in addition to center was something Keyton had going for him. He also saw time on special teams in the Lions’ four preseason game, playing on
“Playing all three positions, they definitely liked that a lot,” Keyton said. “And they said I improved really well week to week and day by day. They just kept saying, ‘Be ready. You’re going to get your chance. Be ready for a phone call. It may not be from us. It may be someone else.’”
Keyton said the experience has been one he’ll never forget.
“Just being around the guys, the locker room,” Keyton said. “There’s nothing you can really compare it to. The camaraderie you have when you play sports, especially on the offensive line. It’s the closest group on the team, since we all have to work together or nothing works at all.”