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Lions place Travis Swanson on IR, promote Jace Billingsley from practice squad

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For the second year in a row, Travis Swanson’s season has ended prematurely thanks to a concussion.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Swanson has a long, tough decision ahead of him. Aside from being a free agent for the first time since being drafted back in 2014, Swanson will have to decide if football is in his future. On Friday morning the Detroit Lions announced that Swanson has been placed on the injured reserve list after a setback in his concussion recovery.

This is now the second year in a row that Swanson has suffered a brain injury so serious that it ended his season. In 2016, he missed the final five games (including playoffs) with a concussion, and he will now miss the final three in 2017.

It appeared Swanson may have briefly been without any serious concussion symptom, as he was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. However, his body apparently didn’t react well to the full contact. He was not even present during Thursday’s team practice.

Travis Swanson has never indicated that he’s considered retirement, but with two serious concussions now under his belt, it’s a conversation he needs to have with himself. Obviously, team doctors will (hopefully) give him the best advice for his future, but with no contract going beyond 2017, this may be the right time for Swanson to call it a career.

To replace Swanson on the roster, the Lions signed wide receiver Jace Billingsley from the practice squad. This is Billingsley’s third time on the active roster in two years. Last year, the Lions similarly promoted him to 53 in the final week of the regular season, but he did not play.

It’s unlikely Billingsley gets any more playing time this year, either, but the move prevents him from being poached by teams looking to get a head start in building 2018’s 90-man roster.