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Lions activate DT Khyri Thornton, waive Brad Kaaya

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Khyri Thornton has re-joined the active roster after serving his six-game suspension.

Detroit Lions v Houston Texans Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

With the bye week now officially in the rearview mirror, the Detroit Lions are getting prepared for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In order to get their roster in game-shape, the Lions made a move on Monday, adding defensive tackle Khyri Thornton to the active roster while waiving Brad Kaaya to make room.

Thornton has now completed his six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Months before being served the suspension, the Lions signed Thornton to a two-year, $3.3 million deal. With that kind of investment, the Lions were clearly planning on having Thornton be an important part of their defensive line rotation.

Thornton’s promotion comes at a time when Detroit needs him the most. After losing Haloti Ngata to a bicep tear that will likely end his season, Detroit shuffled Caraun Reid and Datone Jones on and off the roster, looking for a replacement. The Lions released both last week, leaving the team with just three defensive tackles.

Even though Thornton hasn’t practiced since the preseason, given the current outlook of the defense, he’s poised to immediately contribute this week. In his previous two season with the Lions, Thornton has tallied 13 tackles and 1.0 sacks in 19 games (six starts).

The Lions let go of Kaaya just days after putting in a claim for him. Given that Detroit clearly likes Kaaya, there’s a good chance he could return to their practice squad if he clears waivers.