It has been a long, long(a) time since the Detroit Lions have seen linebacker Steve Longa in full pads. The 24-year-old linebacker suffered a torn ACL during the preseason last year, and he’s been rehabbing ever since.
But the time has finally come for Longa to rejoin the team at practice. On Monday morning, the Lions announced that Longa has been taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Longa had been a special teams standout in the two years prior to his ACL injury, and his return comes at the perfect time for Detroit. Starting linebacker Jarrad Davis suffered a high ankle sprain in the team’s third preseason game and is expected to miss some time. The Lions don’t have a ton of options at linebacker, so Longa’s addition gives Detroit some more experience and depth.
That being said, Longa doesn’t have much time to prove his case. Cut day is Saturday, and that means Longa will have to make a big enough impression in just a couple of practices and Thursday’s preseason finale against the Browns.
It was starting to look like Longa was certainly headed for the regular season PUP list, which would mean he’d miss at least the first six games of the season. Now it appears he has a real chance at the final 53-man roster.
In addition to this move, the Lions announced that they’ve re-signed running back Justin Stockton and released receiver Deontez Alexander. Both players have already been on and off the Lions’ roster this month.