Andre Fluellen is still listed as a defensive tackle on the Detroit Lions' official roster, but he is no longer playing that position. Instead, according to the Free Press, Fluellen has switched to defensive end. More specifically, he's switched to the closed end position in the Lions' new defense (a.k.a. the spot where Jason Jones is slated to start).
Why the change? In order to get the most out of Fluellen's skill set, it seems that the Lions felt like the closed end position was a better fit for him than defensive tackle in their new scheme. He'll still be defending the run quite a bit as the end on the strong side of the formation, and as Fluellen said, he's "just one gap farther away from the ball." So it's not necessarily a drastic departure from what he's used to, but it is still a new position. Here's more from the Free Press:
"I’ve never played any position but D-tackle and offensive guard but it’s just good that, like I said, the coaches see enough faith in me and kind of see something in me," Fluellen said. "I wasn’t ready for it at first. I’ll always do anything they ask me to, but I didn’t know myself how I would do as a consistent end. But now, shoot, I kind of like it. This is all right kind of being out here at defensive end."
Fluellen has actually played some defensive end for the Lions in the past. His versatility has helped him continue to earn chances with the Lions, although this year his odds of making the 53-man roster are pretty low. At defensive tackle, he figured to be the odd man out behind rookie Caraun Reid, and his odds of making the team might actually be worse at defensive end. There, he'll probably be the odd man out behind rookie Larry Webster, and even if the Lions surprisingly keep six defensive ends, George Johnson appears to be ahead of him right now.
If nothing else, I suppose having the ability to play both end and tackle could come in handy if any injuries occur on the D-line this year for the Lions. Back in 2012, Fluellen was let go in the final round of cuts only to return later in the season, so even if he doesn't make the team this summer, I suppose we shouldn't completely close the door on the possibility of him re-signing at some point down the road.