The least exciting preseason game is the fourth one, and it’s finally in the books. The good news to that is that real games start soon and nobody was seriously injured. The bad news is that cuts are looming and not everyone played great in this blowout victory. Once again we take stock of the roster and look at who looked better this week than last. We’re not going to credit Ezekiel Ansah for the beads in his hair, nor knock starters down for not playing; we're just going to look at who played well and who struggled against the Buffalo Bills.
Stock Up: Kerry Hyder, DE
Hyder is fighting for a roster spot either as the fourth defensive end, or making a case for a fifth if the team keeps one. I’d say pulling down two sacks, a forced fumble and disrupting nearly every snap you’re involved in is a good way to make a case for a roster spot. Hyder is a former practice squad guy trying to show he can be more, and he’ll need to play like he did against Buffalo to make the team and pay for that outrageous fine he has for a late hit this preseason.
Stock Down: Quinshad Davis, WR
Quinshad Davis was cut earlier this week but then re-signed. He had an opportunity to make a case for the practice squad, but added another drop after two last week (one drop, one bobbled out of bounds). Adding to his troubles, both Jay Lee and Jace Billingsley looked very good against Buffalo, making Davis not only a long shot to make the roster, but a long shot to make the practice squad.
Stock Up: Jace Billingsley, WR
Billingsley had a couple of great catches and runs, and is easily a practice squad guy if he doesn’t make the roster... Which he might. That touchdown catch was a beauty. Who would have guessed that Jace Billingsley and not Jay Lee or Quinshad Davis was going to be the UDFA WR we were talking about? Lee might have a better shot at a roster spot, but it’s going to be hard to let Billingsley go on waivers.
Stock Down: Brandon Copeland, DE
Copeland was mostly a non factor against the Bills, but it was the worst night to disappear. Both Kerry Hyder and Anthony Zettel stood out against the same level of competition, and with only one or two spots available you don’t want to be the third man in that competition. He had a nice splash play late in the game on a fluke deflected interception, but otherwise had no impact.
Dan Orlovsky, QB - It’s been a shaky preseason, but Orlovsky showed a lot of poise and patience along with veteran savvy that got him in Detroit in the first place.
Dwayne Washington, RB - Dwayne Washington outside in space is money, but his upright style got him a big shot trying to go up the gut, so maybe avoid that.
Andrew Quarless, TE - Lions need a blocking tight end and Quarless looks like cutting Matthew Mulligan wasn’t a mistake.
Antwione Williams, LB - Williams had a boneheaded penalty, but was hitting like a hammer after that.He knows his job isn’t secure and played like he wants it.
Anthony Zettel, DE - Notched a sack to his good game overall.
Don Carey, FS - Had a great pass breakup that would have been a first down, got a nice long look for reserve safety.
Caraun Reid, DT - Reid has had a rough go this preseason, but aside from one lazy play in the second quarter, Reid was on point and disruptive.
Zach Zenner, RB - Zenner got most of the carries after Washington’s long look, but his three broken tackle play was a thing of beauty for a power back.
TJ Jones, WR - If you were wondering where TJ Jones was during the game, he didn’t play. With no need to see him play, it’s very likely he’s locked into a roster spot.
Joe Dahl, OG - Dahl played left tackle in the first quarter. He’s already locked into the roster, but getting extra play outside means he’s probably going to fill in on heavy sets.
Jake Rudock, QB - Rudock wasn’t a great passer in this game, but his mobility was very much on display and on top of extending plays he was making accurate passes while running.
Adairius Barnes, CB - Barnes has been mostly quiet this preseason after an atrocious camp, but had a great day against Buffalo in his showcase. Possible spot on the practice squad.
Andre Roberts, WR - Two targets, two drops for the veteran who had a much better week previously and had two UDFAs show out on the day.
Darrin Walls, CB - Coverage wasn’t spectacular, but netted a special teams penalty that pushed the Lions into their own end zone.
Stefan Charles, DT - Charles wasn’t in on the game until the late 3rd team guys. Not good for a lauded free agent signing fighting for a deep spot.
Brandon Thomas, OG - Not a good way to make your debut, whiffing on a block that gets your RB nailed deep in the backfield, looked bad all game.
Gabe Wright, DT - With Khyri Thornton, Kerry Hyder, and Caraun Reid making plays, you may wonder where Wright has been. He played, but made no impact.
George Winn, RB - Winn got knocked off the roster a couple weeks ago, but he was given no chance to showcase himself for other teams against the Bills.
Lemanuel Jeanpierre, OC - Jeanpierre is showcasing his skills for another team, and the worst thing you can do while doing that is miss most of your blocks.