ALLEN PARK -- Corey Bradford's teammates were never sure exactly why the Lions cut him early this season.
Apparently, the Lions front office wasn't too clear about it either.
As part of their ongoing quest to find a No. 3 receiver, the Lions brought Bradford back Thursday.
"I was fishing in Texas, and the phone rang," Bradford said. "They wanted me to come back, and here I am."
The Lions signed Bradford to a four-year free agent contract in March, and he spent most of training camp as the No. 2 receiver behind Roy Williams. He caught three passes for 36 yards in Detroit's first game but only played sparingly in the next two and was released on Sept. 27.
While Bradford was fishing and collecting a paycheck, the Lions tried Devale Ellis, Az Hakim, Shaun Bodiford, Eddie Drummond, Mike Williams and -- most recently -- Kevin Kasper -- at receiver, but none of them worked out.
So, on Thursday, Bradford was back at his old locker, wearing No. 17 again.
"I could have stayed home and gotten my money, but this is the NFL," he said. "Even if I was making $10 million to sit at home, I'd come back. There's just nothing like playing on Sunday."
Roy Williams was happy to see Bradford's return.
"It's crazy the way guys have come and gone, but we are in desperate need of a number-three receiver," he said. "Now C.B. is back, and that can only make the team better."
Jon Kitna never felt as if Bradford's release had much to do with talent, so he's looking forward to throwing to him again.
"I thought when we let him go, it was more of a numbers game than anything else," he said. "I hope he can get back into it and help us out."
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz felt that Bradford's familiarity with the Lions offense made him an easy choice.
"We knew Corey knows the system, and we felt like he can help us," Martz
said. "He'll be in the mix, and we'll see what happens."