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Detroit Lions sign DB DeShawn Shead

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DeShawn Shead is back after some injuries and poor play from the Lions’ secondary.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Just a couple weeks ago, the Detroit Lions cut DeShawn Shead in a somewhat surprising move as they cut their roster down to 53 prior to the regular season. Shead was considered an important free agency addition to Detroit’s thin secondary, but his play throughout training camp, stunted by injury, wasn’t enough to justify a roster spot then.

However, it appears conditions have changed. The Lions announced on Wednesday that they’ve re-signed Shead to the team.

One of those conditions that may have changed is the status of No. 1 cornerback Darius Slay, who left Sunday’s game against the 49ers with a concussion. At this point, we don’t know where Slay is in the concussion protocol nor do we know his status for this week’s game, but Shead’s addition certainly seems like it may cast doubt on his availability.

Additionally, the Lions have not seen good play out of their other outside cornerbacks. Nevin Lawson lost the starting No. 2 corner job to Teez Tabor in Week 2, but Tabor was benched shortly after his first start against the 49ers after a miscommunication led to a touchdown.

Shead entered training camp this year as a starter but slowly fell out of favor. With the clear secondary struggles through two weeks and the injury to Darius Slay, Shead has a real chance to recapture that job as soon as this week against the Patriots.

In addition to adding Shead, the team announced that edge defender Alex Barrett has been released from the practice squad while wide receiver Keon Hatcher takes his place. Hatcher made his NFL debut with the Raiders in Week 1, playing 16 special teams snaps for the squad. He also snagged three touchdowns in Oakland’s preseason finale.