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Detroit Lions Week 5 roster bubble watch: Huge changes on offense

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After preseason Week 2, the Lions offensive roster makeup could be a lot different.

NFL: AUG 17 Preseason - Lions at Texans Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Normally as we track the players on the Detroit Lions bubble, our opinions shift little by little. After a good or bad performance in the preseason, a staff member or two will shift their opinion on player, pushing them on or off the bubble. History shows, however, that we can be a stubborn bunch. We latch onto our favorite players, and it takes a lot of evidence to change our opinion on the guy.

That’s not the case this week, as our Week 5 Bubble Watch has some seismic changes on the offensive side of the ball. The Lions have been getting a ton of playing time out of their reserves with many starters yet to make their preseason debut. As a result, we’re getting a lot of data to take in, and it has resulted in massive changes on the bubble.

Bubble Watch Week 5: 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 OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN -4
QB David Fales OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT 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 OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN -1
WR Travis Fulgham IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 2
WR Brandon Powell OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT -7
WR Chris Lacy IN IN OUT IN IN OUT IN OUT IN IN OUT 5
TE Isaac Nauta IN OUT IN OUT OUT IN OUT IN OUT IN OUT -5
OT Andrew Donnal OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT IN -2
G Beau Benzschawel IN IN IN IN IN IN OUT IN OUT IN OUT 7
G/C Leo Koloamatangi OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT -2
G Kenny Wiggins IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 0
G Oday Aboushi OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT -8

New to Bubble Watch: David Fales (trending up)
Off the Bubble: N/A

After Saturday night’s preseason performance, David Fales has risen from the dead and is right back in the thick of things for the backup quarterback job. Obviously, the team was skeptical of Fales, having Josh Johnson start ahead of him despite signing Johnson just a week ago. However, Fales’ performance certainly gave the Lions something to think about.

So far, however, he’s only convinced one staff member that he’s worthy of a spot on the roster.

Biggest risers: Beau Benzschawel (+7), Chris Lacy (+5), Travis Fulgham (+2)
Biggest fallers: Oday Aboushi (-8), Brandon Powell (-7), Isaac Nauta (-5), Josh Johnson (-4)

The biggest change happened at the guard position, as Beau Benzschawel’s solid performance (and significant amount of playing time) against the Texans bounced him all the way from one “IN” last week to eight this week.

Benzschawel’s rise also likely had to to with Aboushi’s fall. With Joe Dahl sticking with the first team and Kenny Wiggins proving his versatility as a backup tackle, it becomes harder and harder to justify Aboushi’s spot on the roster.

At receiver, Chris Lacy got first-team reps all last week, signifying just how much the Lions like him. Although he hasn’t done much in the preseason, the team’s confidence in Lacy was enough to earn a majority of “IN” votes this week.

Brandon Powell was the faller in response. It’s unclear why Powell fell so far. He actually had the second-most receiving yards on Saturday night. He also had the team’s best punt return of the night. However, perhaps it was the couple of good plays by Tom Kennedy that has some losing faith in Powell.

Finally, Josh Johnson and Isaac Nauta both saw significant falls after rough preseason performances. Nauta has had a case of the dropsies in the past few weeks, and has seen his Bubble Watch stock drop significantly. Just two weeks ago, he wasn’t even on the bubble. Now only five of 11 have him in.

Bubble Watch Week 5: 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 IN IN IN OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT 1
EDGE Malik Carney OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
EDGE Mitchell Loewen OUT OUT OUT IN OUT IN IN OUT OUT IN IN 0
DT P.J. Johnson OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT 1
DT John Atkins OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT -3
DT Kevin Strong IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT IN IN OUT IN IN 2
DT Fred Jones OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT N/A
LB Steve Longa OUT OUT IN IN IN OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN -1
LB Miles Killebrew IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 0
CB Teez Tabor IN OUT IN IN IN IN OUT IN IN IN IN 0
CB Mike Ford OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT IN OUT IN OUT OUT 0
S Andrew Adams IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN OUT -2
S Charles Washington OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT IN -1
S Tavon Wilson IN IN IN IN OUT OUT IN IN OUT IN IN 1

New to Bubble Watch: Fred Jones (trending up)
Off the Bubble: Marcus Cooper (waived/injured)

With the Lions still beat up on the defensive front, Fred Jones has been getting plenty of first-team work at defensive tackle. Both he and Kevin Strong got a huge chunk of playing time against the Texans, and while neither really stood out in a positive way, it was an opportunity for both to jump ahead of a guy like John Atkins, who sat on Saturday.

As of now, Kevin Strong still leads the trio with six “IN” votes, while Jones debuts with three, and Atkins dropped to zero. This competition for backup nose/defensive tackle is obviously still very much up for grabs.

Biggest risers: Kevin Strong (+2), P.J. Johnson (+1), Eric Lee (+1), Tavon Wilson (+1)
Biggest fallers: John Atkins (-3), Andrew Adams (-2), Charles Washington (-1), Steve Longa (-1)

Obviously, there aren’t nearly as many changes on the defensive side of the ball. Aside from the aforementioned shifts in the defensive tackle battle, it appears the safety battle is still very fluid.

Despite notching an interception on Saturday, Andrew Adams fell two spots this week. While his interception was nice, Adams also allowed a touchdown in which he terribly misplayed a ball; he was also stiff-armed to hell. Despite not even playing this week, Tavon Wilson jumped a spot.

Finally, Steve Longa dropped one more vote this week, as he is the only player remaining on the Physically Unable to Perform list.