After placing rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson on injured reserve, the Detroit Lions had an open spot on their 53-man roster. Head coach Matt Patricia revealed on Tuesday the team’s plans to fill the position.
According to Patricia, the Lions will be promoting linebacker Jason Cabinda from the team’s practice squad.
Cabinda has basically spent the entire season on the team’s practice squad after Detroit signed him following his release from the Oakland Raiders during roster cuts. In 2018, Cabinda played in 10 games for the Raiders in his rookie season, including three starts. He racked up 21 tackles over that span.
At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, Cabinda is a little smaller than the linebackers Detroit typically likes. If Cabinda factors into Detroit’s gameday plans, it may be as more of a special teams player, like Jalen-Reeves Maybin or Steve Longa—two other linebackers that are comparable in size.
“He’s impressed in practice,” Patricia said of Cabinda. “He really does a great job of giving us different looks, but also understands the defense. He’s a guy that can play anywhere, from that standpoint. In special teams, he really has done a lot through practice and some of the things we saw on tape from Oakland.”
At the moment, the Lions don’t appear to be hurting at linebacker, so it’s unclear if Cabinda will take over a players’ role this week against the Vikings. The first injury report is due on Wednesday, so keep a close eye on it to see if any linebackers are on the list.
With Cabinda being promoted, the Lions now have a vacancy on their practice squad.
UPDATE: The Lions made the move official and signed wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. to their practice squad. Bolden went undrafted in 2017 and served, briefly, as the 49ers kick returner that year.