The Detroit Lions were in a desperate situation back in July. After Taylor Decker went down with a shoulder injury and Corey Robinson was still ailing from foot surgery, the Lions were left desperately thin at offensive tackle. They went out and traded for much-maligned Greg Robinson for a sixth-round pick as a temporary band aid.
The plan didn’t work all that well, as Robinson struggled through the first six games before succumbing to an ankle injury. Now, the Lions have cut bait completely, waiving the offensive tackle on Friday with an injury designation. If Robinson clears waivers, it’s quite possible Detroit will put him on injured reserve.
However, the bigger news here is that there is now an open spot on the roster. Considering Robinson was healthy enough to practice this week (albeit limited) the only logical reason to make this move would be if you’re adding tackle help to the roster this week.
Enter: Taylor Decker. Decker has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list all year, but returned to practice last week. However, as of Friday morning the team hadn’t activated him from PUP yet, meaning they would need to create room on the 53-man roster to make Decker eligible to play.
Jim Caldwell was noncommittal on whether the Lions were planning on activating him this week, but with this roster move, it almost seems like a certainty.
In addition to waiving Robinson, the Lions shuffled around their practice squad. They signed wide receiver Bradley Marquez to the practice squad and released cornerback Adairius Barnes.
UPDATE: Erik Schlitt from Lions Wire brings up an important point about what else this move could mean. And it might not involve a Taylor Decker return:
I know we all think the Greg Robinson release could mean Decker is returning, but this could also mean Corey Robinson— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) November 10, 2017
Corey Robinson was placed on injured reserve after Week 1, but returned to practice a couple weeks ago. After returning from practice, the Lions have three weeks to activate Robinson or keep him on IR for good. That three week period is up after next Wednesday.