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Detroit Lions Week 4 roster bubble watch: Big shifts on offense

Injuries and poor play have shifted the Lions roster bubble, especially on offense.

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Now that we’ve got one preseason game under our belt, giving us a look—albeit a harsh look—at the Detroit Lions’ depth, it’s time to revisit the roster bubble. We’re three weeks away from the team having a 53-man roster, and that means nearly 40 players that are currently on the roster will have to find work elsewhere.

Every week during the preseason we take a look at the roster bubble players, and our staff votes on whether we think they’ll make the roster or not. Welcome to Week 4 of Bubble Watch!

Bubble Watch Week 4: Offense

Player Jeremy Reisman Kent Lee Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Andrew Kato Mansur Shaheen Kyle Yost Justin Simon John Whiticar Change
Player Jeremy Reisman Kent Lee Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Andrew Kato Mansur Shaheen Kyle Yost Justin Simon John Whiticar Change
QB Josh Johnson OUT IN IN IN IN OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT N/A
WR Tommylee Lewis OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
WR Andy Jones OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 1
WR Travis Fulgham OUT IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 0
WR Brandon Powell IN OUT IN IN IN IN OUT IN IN IN OUT 5
WR Chris Lacy IN IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT N/A
TE Isaac Nauta IN IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN N/A
OT Andrew Donnal IN OUT OUT IN OUT IN OUT IN IN IN IN -1
G Beau Benzschawel OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 1
G/C Leo Koloamatangi OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT IN OUT 1
G Kenny Wiggins IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN N/A
G Oday Aboushi OUT IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN OUT IN N/A

New to bubble watch: Kenny Wiggins (trending down), Oday Aboushi (down), Chris Lacy (up), Isaac Nauta (down), Josh Johnson (new)
Off the bubble: Jermaine Kearse (IR), Nick Bawden (lock), Ryan Pope (out)

Injuries and poor play have led to a big influx of new players on the bubble. Kenny Wiggins and Oday Aboushi are no longer safe after a horrid offensive line performance Thursday night. In fact, Ryan Pope is no longer even considered on the bubble after a training camp so rough that the Lions didn’t even put him out there against the Patriots.

Additionally, the injury to Jermaine Kearse put Chris Lacy on the roster bubble, while the addition of quarterback Josh Johnson as a real candidate for the backup job adds QUARTERBACK WATCH to training camp. Isaac Nauta was added per commenter request, as a debate can be had whether the Lions will consider four tight ends this year. Currently 10 of 11 believe he’s in.

Biggest risers: Brandon Powell (+5)
Biggest fallers: Andrew Donnal (-1)

Brandon Powell got a big boost in confidence after the injury to Jermaine Kearse. With Kearse now on IR, the Lions don’t have many receivers that can play the slot should Danny Amendola suffer an injury. So it would make sense that Powell saw the biggest rise among the receivers. It’s interesting that the rest of the receivers didn’t see much of a change.

The offensive line is in peril after allowing nine sacks on Thursday. Kenny Wiggins is no longer taking first-team reps at guard, though his versatility is on display now that he’s working as a second-team tackle. Everyone still has him in, but only eight of 11 feel the same about Oday Aboushi.

Despite a poor performance in the preseason game, Andrew Donnal only saw a one-vote dip this week.

Bubble Watch Week 4: Defense

Player Jeremy Reisman Kent Lee Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Andrew Kato Mansur Shaheen Kyle Yost Justin Simon John Whiticar Change
Player Jeremy Reisman Kent Lee Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Andrew Kato Mansur Shaheen Kyle Yost Justin Simon John Whiticar Change
EDGE Eric Lee IN IN OUT OUT IN OUT OUT IN IN IN OUT 2
EDGE Malik Carney OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT 0
EDGE Mitchell Loewen OUT OUT IN IN OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT IN -3
DT P.J. Johnson OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT -2
DT John Atkins IN IN OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
DT Kevin Strong IN OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN IN N/A
LB Steve Longa OUT OUT IN IN IN OUT IN OUT IN OUT IN 2
LB Miles Killebrew IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 3
CB Teez Tabor IN OUT IN IN IN IN OUT IN IN IN IN 1
CB Mike Ford OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT IN IN OUT 0
CB Marcus Cooper OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
S Andrew Adams IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 0
S Charles Washington IN OUT OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 1
S Tavon Wilson OUT IN IN IN OUT OUT IN IN OUT IN IN 4

New to bubble watch: Kevin Strong (trending up)
Off the bubble: N/A

Because the Lions were so poor defensively against the Patriots, no player worked their way off the bubble. The only depth player that has been playing consistently well in training camp is defensive tackle Kevin Strong. His Bubble Watch debut features just four staff members giving him an “IN” vote.

Biggest risers: Tavon Wilson (+4), Miles Killebrew (+3), Eric Lee (+2), Steve Longa (+2)
Biggest fallers: Mitchell Loewen (-3), P.J. Johnson (-2)

Almost a year ago on the dot, Miles Killebrew headlined our Bubble Watch, convincing our entire staff that he was going to make the roster. This week, again, Killebrew has earned unanimous support. After a solid performance in the preseason opener and praise coming from Matt Patricia, Killebrew seems like an easy roster addition.

The other big winner this week was Tavon Wilson, who made several plays against the Patriots this week. The veteran safety now has majority support, with seven of 11 staffers claiming he’s in.

As the Lions continue to get healthier along the defensive line, it’s looking grim for some of the depth pieces. Mitchell Loewen’s early camp momentum has run out of steam, and rookie P.J. Johnson’s most notorious note from camp thus far was getting thrown out of joint practices last week.

Steve Longa still hasn’t practiced and remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list. I cannot explain why two more people have him in this week. Tre Lamar was waived-injured, so there’s at least some justification.

Note: Bubble Watch was submitted prior to the release of Marcus Cooper Sr. Sorry, Reno.