Tuesday afternoon the Detroit Lions announced they have released guard Andrew Zeller and signed wide receiver Damian Copeland.
Zeller, an undrafted free agent out of Maryland, was part of the initial 12 UDFAs signed after the draft. With all of the other additions the Lions made in the offseason at offensive line, it would have been an uphill battle for Zeller to make the final 53-man roster.
Copeland, too, was an undrafted free agent who was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. Unfortunately, Copeland lost both his 2014 and 2015 seasons to injury. His rookie year, he suffered a wrist injury in training camp that landed him on the injured reserve list. The following year, the Jaguars placed him on IR again after he dislocated his shoulder during a preseason game.
At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Copeland adds a little size to the Lions' wide receiver squad. In college, Copeland was the leading Louisville Cardinals receiver as a senior, tallying 52 catches for 690 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games. At the time, he was catching passes from now Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Copeland now joins an intense wide receiver competition that includes Andre Caldwell, Corey Fuller, Jeremy Kerley, Jay Lee and TJ Jones among others all vying for the last few positions on the depth chart. Copeland is likely a long shot to make the active squad, but as Dave Birkett points out, the Lions need camp bodies because of a few injuries.