The Detroit Lions face off against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night in the preseason finale for the 2017 season. While fans rightfully believe this is the worst, and most unwatchable, of the four preseason games, it is far from meaningless.
Over 30 players on each team will be cut between today and Saturday afternoon, and for many of those players, Thursday represents their last opportunity to showcase their talents, not only to their current coaching staff, but to front office members around the league should they get cut this weekend.
Lions fans should be well aware of the importance of the final preseason game. Kerry Hyder capitalized twice on the finale, notching three fumble recoveries in 2015 and three sacks in 2016. In 2015, the performance landed him a job on the practice squad, while last season, he managed to earn himself a spot on the final 53-man roster, where he enjoyed a breakout year.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which current Lions player has the most on the line for Thursday’s game against the Bills?
My answer: Alex Carter. Carter has had a very quiet preseason thus far, while he continues to transition from NFL cornerback to safety.
Fortunately for Carter, he still very much has a chance to make this roster. Don Carey has been limited by injuries and has yet to appear in a preseason game. Charles Washington has had some hype around him as of late, but he didn’t exactly follow through on that hype against the Patriots, when he received over 50 percent of defensive snaps and failed to stand out.
Carter was a third-round pick just two years ago, so the raw talent is there. But he also wasn’t picked by current general manager Bob Quinn. With no allegiance to Carter, Quinn will need to be convinced by Carter’s performance on Thursday to justify a spot on the Lions’ 53-man roster.