After the Detroit Lions shipped Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles, they had an open spot on the roster. Wednesday afternoon, the team filled the vacancy.
The Lions announced they have signed linebacker Kelvin Sheppard.
Sheppard becomes yet another former New York Giants player to make his way over to the Lions defense. Along with Romeo Okwara, Devon Kennard, Damon Harrison, Sheppard becomes the fourth member of the Lions’ front seven to join the team this year as a former Giant.
Sheppard was worked out by the team twice this season: once back in July, once earlier in the week, per Adam Schefter. Sheppard is a 30-year-old veteran who has started 62 games since 2011. He most recently started in six games with the Giants in 2017, amassing 49 tackles and two interceptions as a midseason addition for New York. However, his overall PFF grade was just 46.5—good for 59th among linebackers, per Pro Football Rumors.
The Lions could be in need of some linebacker depth. Toward the end of Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, both Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Christian Jones appeared to have suffered injuries, though it’s not clear how serious they are.
Either way, Sheppard brings a fair amount of experience and production to a Lions linebacking corps that is lacking in both. Although don’t expect much from a player that was still available this deep into the 2018 season.
The team also made a change with their practice squad adding DE Alex Barrett while releasing TE Jerome Cunningham.