The Detroit Lions made an intriguing transaction on Saturday morning, just over 24 hours before they face off against their division rival Green Bay Packers. The team announced that they’ve waived tight end Hakeem Valles, while promoting cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc to the active roster from the practice squad.
Valles was a training camp standout and had a productive preseason, as well. He pulled in eight catches for 74 yards between the four exhibition games, and that productivity forced the Lions into keeping a fourth tight end on their 53-man roster behind Luke Willson, Levine Toilolo and Michael Roberts.
However, Valles hasn’t played much in the regular season thus far. He’s only had 29 offensive snaps between four games that have resulted in just two catches for 11 yards.
The Lions’ decision to waive him comes at a curious time. Fellow tight end Michael Roberts has already been declared out for Sunday, which means Detroit will be rolling with just two active tight ends on gameday: Willson and Toilolo.
As for the promotion of LeBlanc, it’s a bad sign for the health of the Lions’ secondary. As of Friday, cornerbacks Quandre Diggs and Nevin Lawson were listed as questionable, with a hand and illness respectively. Additionally, Tavon Wilson (back) and Tracy Walker (ankle) were also listed as questionable for the Packers game.
LeBlanc was added to Detroit’s practice squad after he failed to make the Bears’ final 53-man roster. LeBlanc has played in 28 total games with 10 starts in his two-year career. Over that span, he has 61 tackles and two interceptions.
The Lions also signed CB Dee Virgin to the practice squad and released S Rolan Milligan.