As the Detroit Lions get ready for Thursday’s preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, it looks like they’re going to be entering the game quite healthy. During Tuesday’s practice only defensive lineman Toby Johnson was sidelined (along with Andy Jones—still on PUP). That meant that Graham Glasgow and Luke Willson returned to practice after missing Monday’s session.
However, there was one noticeable absence from the field entirely. The newest Lions’ defensive end Robert Ayers, didn’t appear to be on the field at all during the individual portion of practice.
There’s no clear reason why Ayers wasn’t at practice. He appeared to be a full participant on Monday, just hours after the team announced the signing. And when head coach Matt Patricia met with the media on Tuesday morning and first talked about adding Ayers, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“Another guy, obviously, has some good experience that we could bring in. Has been pretty productive in the NFL in a couple different places and has some versatility,” Patricia said. “It’ll be a good opportunity for us to look and see how that fits us.”
Now we’re not one to speculate or guess why he’s absent, as there could be plenty of reasons, and this city has already dealt with enough irresponsible edge rusher rumors for one week. That being said, several media members noticed an animated Bob Quinn on the phone during practice:
Also Lions GM Bob Quinn was on the phone the majority of the open portion of Lions practice. Way too far away to know what he was saying but he seemed animated.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 28, 2018
Robert Ayers was not at Lions practice today. But our camera's caught Bob Quin and Matt Patricia spending a lot of time talking during team stretch - after which Quin got on his phone.— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) August 28, 2018
UPDATE: Mystery solved. The Lions have released Ayers. Now to find out why...