Zaviar Gooden has had quite the up-and-down month. Back on September 4, Gooden was waived as part of the Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster cuts. For the next three weeks, Gooden remained removed from the NFL roster, as the Lions didn’t opt to bring him back to the practice squad immediately. Then last Wednesday, the Lions—in desperate need of linebacker help—did add Gooden to the 10-man practice squad roster. On Saturday, they decided to promote Gooden to the active roster for the game against the Green Bay Packers.
And the Lions sure did use him in Sunday’s game. Gooden played in 27 snaps for the Lions, good for 50 percent of all defensive plays. But just a day later, the Detroit Lions announced they had waived Gooden yet again.
This move could signify a few things. The Lions could be expecting an injured linebacker to come back this week. The most likely candidate would be rookie Antwione Williams, who injured his hamstring in Week 2’s game against the Titans. DeAndre Levy is another possibility, but considering recent reports that Levy is due to miss at least one more game, that seems unlikely.
The strangest thing about this move is how it relates to linebacker Thurston Armbrister. Armbrister only played in four defensive snaps on Sunday, so it appears the Lions valued Gooden's skillset more on defense—at least as a matchup against Green Bay. However, the Lions chose to keep Armbrister instead, even though both players are practice squad eligible. One possible reason for keeping Armbrister instead is because the Lions may be worried about losing him to waivers. The Lions scooped Armbrister up after the Jaguars waived him, whereas Gooden went unclaimed when Detroit cut him loose.
As of right now, the Lions have an open spot on their roster. However, Justin Rogers is reporting that the Lions plan on bringing back receiver Aaron Dobson, who was waived on Saturday:
The current plan is for the Lions to re-sign Aaron Dobson, who they had to release to clear room for Zaviar Gooden. Gooden was waived today.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) September 26, 2016