As we noted in our snap counts article, it was peculiar that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Jordan Hill only saw the field for three defensive snaps against the New England Patriots. We now know the reason why, and it isn’t good. The Lions placed Hill on reserve-injured on Sunday morning with a bicep injury that will end his season.
Hill has always been an extremely promising athlete, but his career has been sullied with injuries. In his four seasons in the NFL, Hill has just played in 31 of 64 possible games. When we spoke to Field Gulls about Hill and his potential, they gave glowing reviews. “If he remains healthy, he's got a Geno Atkins type ceiling, I do believe that,” Kenneth Arthur wrote.
And Hill had shown some of that potential with the Detroit Lions. While he only tallied one tackle in the first two preseason games, he was showing off some impressive push against the New York Jets, specifically.
Now the Lions find even less depth on their already thin defensive line. On Friday, sixth-round rookie Jeremiah Ledbetter saw a lot of snaps early in the game and has led all defensive tackles in snaps throughout the preseason. But considering the Lions will already be without Khyri Thornton for six games because of a suspension, Detroit will need some more reinforcements behind starter A’Shawn Robinson and Haloti Ngata.
Detroit did add a defensive tackle in a corresponding move. The Lions signed Derrick Lott to the roster. Lott went undrafted in 2015 out of Chattanooga (transferred from Georgia). His official NFL draft profile projected him to be a fifth-round pick and called him a “natural fit as a three-technique in a 4-3 defense.”
That’s exactly what the Lions roster could use, but Lott has failed to latch on to any team in his two-year NFL career. He has spent time with the Buccaneers, Eagles and Raiders, but has yet to find he way onto a 53-man roster.
In addition to these moves, the Lions announced on Saturday that they have waived DT Bruce Gaston from reserve-injured and came to an injury settlement. There’s now a chance Gaston could return to the roster at a later time, but Detroit must wait at least six weeks for another chance at Gaston, depending on the settlement terms.