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Lions add Carlin Isles to practice squad, make change to 53-man roster

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In addition to swapping out tight ends on their 53-man roster, the Detroit Lions have added rugby star Carlin Isles to their practice squad.

David Rogers

A day after putting tight end Brandon Pettigrew on injured reserve, the Detroit Lions made another change to their roster involving tight ends. Specifically, they put tight end Dorin Dickerson on injured reserve because of a concussion he suffered last week, and they filled his spot on the 53-man roster with tight end Matt Veldman, who was signed from the practice squad.

With a spot open on the practice squad, the Lions decided to sign former sprinter and Rugby star Carlin Isles, who tried out for the team earlier in the week. Isles ran a 4.22 40-yard dash for the Lions, according to the Free Press, and he is set to play wide receiver for them.

So why add a Rugby player to the practice squad in Week 17 of the season? In all likelihood, the Lions will sign him to a futures contract next week, putting him on their roster for the offseason. Considering his great speed and athletic ability, it's worth a shot to see if he can pick up football. I mean, he's been dubbed "The Fastest Man in Rugby." Why not see what he can do on a football field?

Aside from playing wide receiver, I'm assuming Isles will get a lot of work on special teams, both on the coverage units and potentially as a returner.