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Report: Josh Johnson wins Detroit Lions backup job, Tom Savage released

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The Lions made a very surprising choice at backup QB.

NFL: Preseason-Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

In what may be the biggest news of the day for the Detroit Lions, they have apparently decided on a backup quarterback, and it isn’t Tom Savage. According to Justin Rogers, the Lions are releasing Savage, leaving Josh Johnson as the primary backup.

Savage looked like the answer to the Lions’ lingering backup quarterback problem in training camp as well as his brief appearance in the first preseason game. The third significant concussion of his career, however, robbed him of preseason game action and raised major red flags about his durability.

I wrote about how Savage’s concussion history could prompt the Lions to keep a third-string quarterback on the roster this season, but evidently it worried them enough to simply replace Savage.

As for Johnson, he may have just won the job during the final preseason game in which he went 9-for-15 for 157 yards and a two-minute drill touchdown pass. It was a display of tremendous growth for Johnson, who had joined the team just a few weeks prior. Now he’ll be entering Week 1 as the presumed backup quarterback to Matthew Stafford.