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Steve Longa has a torn ACL, will go to IR

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The veteran linebacker’s season is over.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have ended the season of linebacker Steve Longa, placing him on injured reserve Monday morning.

Longa, a special teams standout and linebacker reserve, injured his leg during Friday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants. Giants third-string quarterback Kyle Lauletta juked Longa on an 10-yard touchdown run, and Longa fell to the ground, having been untouched on the play.

Initial reports suggested the Lions were concerned Longa tore his ACL. MLive’s Kyle Meinke is reporting that’s exactly what happened, and Matt Patricia confirmed it in his press conference Monday morning. Longa is not eligible to return from IR in 2018, as that only applies to players placed on IR during the regular season.

It’s a small, but significant blow to the Lions defense. While Longa wasn’t expected to be a regular contributor on the defense, he has consistently stuck out on special teams and was considered one of the top reserves in case of injury. Now the Lions may look to the likes of undrafted rookie Chad Meredith or former Patriot Trevor Bates to step up in Longa’s absence.

The Lions have yet to announced a corresponding move, but it appears the Lions will be signing cornerback Sterling Moore in the near future.