The Detroit Lions defensive line got a boost last week when Da’Shawn Hand returned to the lineup after missing the first six games of the season. The Lions could be getting another key player back soon, too. Wednesday the team announced that fourth-round rookie defensive end Austin Bryant will return to practice this week.
Bryant had been placed on injured reserve after suffering an upper-body injury during training camp. Although he remains on injured reserve and is not yet eligible to play, his return to practice starts a 21-day clock in which the Lions must decide to either promote him to the 53-man squad or end his season.
Given that Bryant is a rookie and didn’t get much practice in before his training camp injury, it’s probably safe to say they won’t rush him into the lineup. Still, it does appear likely now that we will see Bryant before his rookie season is over.
In addition to this move, the Lions have announced that they signed cornerback Michael Jackson from the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad. Jackson was the Cowboys’ fifth-round pick this year after a four-year stint with the Miami Hurricanes. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Jackson fits the mold that head coach Matt Patricia likes in his corners: big and physical.
With pick 158 in the 2019 NFL Draft, the #Cowboys selected Michael Jackson, CB, Miami.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 20, 2019
He posted a great #RAS with elite size, good speed, elite explosiveness, okay agility at the CB position.#Cowboys pic.twitter.com/FQa37yDBG5
In 2017, Jackson led the Hurricanes with four interceptions and was named to the All-ACC Second Team. He returned for his senior season with some projecting him to be a first-round pick, but without an interception in 2018, his draft stock fell.
It’s unclear where Jackson fits into the Lions’ immediate plans. Darius Slay is still dealing with a hamstring injury and the Lions’ secondary struggled last week against rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.
To make room for Jackson, the Lions have released running back Paul Perkins.