The NFL’s 53-man roster cut down day has passed, and while there are likely to be a few more moves in the coming days, everything has, for the most part, calmed down. After the initial cuts came the waiver wire, with some teams poaching talent from around the league.
The Detroit Lions largely stood pat. Unlike the Houston Texans, there were no wild trades. Unlike the Arizona Cardinals, they did not claim a multitude of players. Even their practice squad is, so far, composed of only Detroit Lions.
In terms of cuts, Teez Tabor was probably the biggest name to depart the Lions. The former second-round pick had struggled immensely during his tenure with the Lions, and combined with a nagging injury, could not secure himself a roster spot.
Elsewhere, Josh Johnson surprised many, myself included, when he made the roster over Tom Savage. However, perhaps the more shocking news was the inclusion of David Blough on the active roster. The Lions have not carried three quarterbacks in recent years, so perhaps they are more committed to developing the undrafted rookie out of Purdue than young quarterbacks of the past.
The next day, as the waiver acquisitions rolled in, it was announced that the Lions claimed running back J.D. McKissic from the Seattle Seahawks. The pass-catching back, formerly a wide receiver in college, reunites with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. It is interesting that the Lions parted ways with fellow receiving back Theo Riddick earlier this season, so perhaps McKissic will fill the void he left. Either way, there is plenty to be excited about.
Unfortunately, the acquisition of McKissic meant someone had to be released, and that player was Logan Thomas. As it stands, the Lions currently have just two tight ends on the roster, but they are interested in re-signing him. Perhaps rookie defensive end and linebacker Austin Bryant will be destined for the Injured Reserve.
As for the practice squad, it is worth noting that seventh-round pick P.J. Johnson did not make the list. Instead, defensive tackle John Atkins made the squad. Fellow seventh-round pick Isaac Nauta made the practice squad as well, so perhaps the Lions did not like what they saw from the nose tackle.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What was the biggest surprise about the Lions’ 53-man roster?
My answer: The Lions’ quarterback carousel certainly has to be the biggest surprise. I was quite certain that Savage would claim the spot, despite a poor performance during the preseason. However, the Lions opted for Josh Johnson, the journeyman quarterback. That being said, the performance of a backup quarterback is, in my opinion, overstated. In the event that Stafford gets injured, I believe the Lions would be in trouble regardless. I want a quarterback that can help out with play calling prior to and during a game. If Johnson can do that, great.
I mentioned that trading for Blough was a surprise too, and I honestly do not know what to expect. Are the Lions going to keep him on their 53-man roster? Will they try to stash him on the practice squad? The Lions are also bringing in Tyree Jackson, of whom I am a fan of, for a workout, so perhaps they are not yet finished shuffling their quarterbacks. It will certainly be an interesting few weeks ahead.