On Monday, head coach Jim Caldwell hinted that there would be some roster moves coming, saying that “some transactions” will happen on Monday.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the first is likely to be regarding Tavon Wilson, who left Thursday’s game with an injury and did not return. According to Birkett, Wilson is done for the year:
Lions S Tavon Wilson needs shoulder surgery after injuring his shoulder for the 3rd time. There's one of the moves Caldwell was referencing. Bigger role for Miles Killebrew upcoming for the Lions.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 27, 2017
Wilson has been one of Detroit’s better run defenders on the team. The Lions often dropped him into the box to play a kind of hybrid linebacker role. Even though he missed a game earlier in the season, Wilson was still third on the team in tackles, and even had the second-most tackles for loss. In the one game Wilson missed, the Lions gave up 154 rushing yards to the Falcons at 5.4 yards per carry.
With Wilson out for the rest of the season, the Lions are likely to rely upon Miles Killebrew as their new starting strong safety. Killebrew has seen a smaller-than-expected role with the defense in his second year, but has played well in spurts. Charles Washington could also play a role going forward, considering he was used as a third-down option often earlier in the season.
This is tough news for a Lions team that has struggled to defend the run lately. In the past four games, Detroit has allowed an average of 159.3 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry. Now the Lions will have to try and fix that problem without one of their best run defenders.