The Lions made big waves on Tuesday by signing Justin Forsett, but there was still more work to be done on the roster. The Lions made three more moves as they added offensive lineman Brian Mihalik—who signed last week but was waived days later—to the practice squad, while waiving linebacker Steve Longa, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday, and releasing Wallace Gilberry from reserve/injured.
Lions also re-signed OL Brian Mihalik to practice squad, waived LB Steve Longa & released DE Wallace Gilberry from Reserve/Injured.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) October 11, 2016
It’s all a little confusing, but the general principle is this: Longa’s spot on the roster becomes Justin Forsett’s, while the vacant spot on the practice squad from Longa’s promotion now goes to Brian Mihalik. Longa was signed to the Lions practice squad before the season began.
Wallace Gilberry’s release from IR means that the Lions have negotiated an injury settlement, which will count against the Lions salary cap. However, the Lions could potentially bring Gilberry back to the roster. According to NFL rules, after the length of his injury settlement is up, Gilberry is free to sign with any team. However, he cannot sign with the Lions for an additional three weeks. This method risks losing Gilberry to another team, but it also saves the Lions the short-term injury reserve spot if their plan is to have Gilberry rejoin the team.