During Sunday’s preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Detroit Lions won the game, but lost what figured to be a very key component of their defensive line in Kerry Hyder to a “significant Achilles injury” according to head coach Jim Caldwell.
On Tuesday, the injury was deemed significant enough to place Hyder Jr. on the injured reserve for the 2017 season. A report yesterday from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested Hyder Jr. would be undergoing surgery sometime this week and begin the rehab process immediately to get ready for the 2018 campaign.
Hyder Jr. took to Twitter on Monday to let everyone know he was going to channel his inner Kobe Bryant during the rehab process—to which Bryant flexed in support:
In addition to placing Hyder Jr. on IR, the Lions also made the move to place running back Mike James on the injured reserve with a concussion. James was a longshot to make Detroit’s 53-man roster, but the Lions now find themselves down yet another body at the position.
Last week, the Lions worked out three running backs including former Tennessee Titan David Cobb. With the news of James getting put on IR, and with Theo Riddick still wearing a red, no-contact jersey, the Lions could be in the market to add another back for the remainder of the preseason.
Lions have waived G Matt Rotheram. In addition, they placed DE Kerry Hyder (Achilles) & RB Mike James (concussion) on Reserve/Injured— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) August 15, 2017
Guard Matt Rotheram and wide receiver Ryan Spadola were both waived on Tuesday. For Spadola, this was the second time in as many seasons he had been waived from IR after reaching an injury settlement with the team. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions added offensive lineman Connor Bozick—a player who spent some time in Detroit this spring—to replace Rotherham:
Lions re-signed OL Connor Bozick. Takes Rotheram's place on the 90-man roster.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 15, 2017
Update: Earlier in the week, we suggested that Hyder could not go directly to IR because he was not a vested veteran yet (four years of experience). Instead, we suggested, he would have to be subjected to waivers first. While that is mostly true, the Lions utilized a third, less common option. Jason from Over The Cap, explains:
You only have to have a player exposed to waivers if you dont want him to count on the 90 man. Otherwise you can go direct to IR— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) August 15, 2017
In other words, the Lions were able to place Hyder directly to IR, but it did not free up a roster spot. Technically, the Lions can now only sport 89 players on their roster.