First, the Lions activated defensive end Armonty Bryant, who they acquired off waivers on Tuesday. Bryant was on the roster exemption list because he just came off of a four-game suspension while he was with the Browns. Bryant was claimed by the Lions on the same day that defensive end Wallace Gilberry was placed on injured reserve.
In order to make room for Bryant, the Lions released wide receiver Aaron Dobson. Dobson has already been signed and released twice by the Lions in the past few weeks and has yet to be active for a game this year.
The Lions also added Steve Longa to the active 53-man roster after Longa had spent all year on the practice squad. Longa gives some additional depth at linebacker, a position that has been ravaged by injuries all season. Offensive lineman Brian Mihalik, who was added to the roster on Thursday, was released to make room.
Interestingly, running back Mike James was not added to the active roster from the practice squad. This means that either the Lions plan on going into the game against the Eagles with just Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner as their healthy options, or that Dwayne Washington will play on Sunday. Washington was listed as doubtful, so it seemed unlikely he was going to play. Going into the game on Sunday with just two healthy backs would be a huge risk, so it seems much more likely that Washington will be available, despite the doubtful label.