Though the Detroit Lions have yet to confirm reports that Brandon Copeland suffered a torn pectoral on Sunday and will require season-ending surgery, the team announced on Wednesday that Copeland has been waived/injured.
Presuming Copeland clears waivers—a pretty fair presumption—he will revert to the Lions’ injured reserve list and will miss the entire 2017 season. He is not eligible to return from IR.
In addition to Copeland, the Lions announced the signings of three new players: offensive lineman Connor Bozick, tight end Andrew Price and defensive end Giorgio Newberry.
Bozick joined the team back in May, replacing injured linebacker Brandon Chubb. Bozick went undrafted this year after spending four years playing all over the offensive line with the University of Delaware. Bozick was waived a week later when the Lions signed Tony Hills.
Price also went undrafted this year. At UNLV, Price had a modest career, appearing in 45 games, picking up 37 receptions for 445 yards and four touchdowns. He will enter an extremely competitive tight end battle with Detroit, but is unlikely to make the final roster.
Newberry is probably the most intriguing of the Lions’ trio of signings, considering the Lions’ massive hole at defensive end. Newberry went undrafted in 2016, but was picked up initially by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was among the Steelers’ first cuts before the regular season.
At Florida State, Newberry had various roles. He started as a defensive end, but eventually moved to defensive tackle and even played a little tight end as a Seminole. Here’s what our partners Tomahawk nation had to say about Newbery as he prepared to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
Newberry (6'5, 284 pounds) emerged as one of the best in the country at affecting passes at the line of scrimmage in 2015. His six deflected passes last season was the most by any ACC defensive lineman. Newberry's breakout senior campaign was deemed deserving of him being invited to the NFL Draft Combine, where he ran a 4.94 40-yard dash. Just over a month later, the five-year Seminole showed improvement, shaving an entire tenth off his 40 time at Florida State's Pro Day on March 29th, which was officially recorded at 4.84 seconds.
His size and speed make him a tough sell at defensive end, and he doesn’t have a ton of experience at the position. However, the Lions don’t necessarily need a speedy edge rusher to play on the closed end anyways.
Newberry will enter the competition at defensive end with undrafted rookies Jeremiah Valoaga and Alex Barrett, who both had impressive debuts against the Colts on Sunday.