Most importantly, the Lions activated offensive lineman Joe Dahl from the injured reserve list. This means he’ll almost certainly start on Sunday, whether it be at center if Frank Ragnow cannot play or at left guard, where he started the season. The Lions chose not to elevate Beau Benzschawel from the practice squad, so he will not be an option to play center.
Additionally, the Lions made a bit of a surprising move, elevating quarterback David Blough to a spot on the 53-man roster. Blough, who was on the practice squad, is still firmly a third-string quarterback on this roster, but this promotion could mean that he was receiving interest from other teams, and Detroit wanted to prevent that team from poaching him. The Lions have previously used the NFL’s new practice squad protection on Blough—meaning no team can poach him from Wednesday to Sunday—but a team could still sign him outside that window. By having him on the 53-man roster, he cannot be signed by another team.
UPDATE: Chris Burke is reporting the Cowboys made an offer on Blough:
Per a league source, the Lions signed David Blough to their active roster to match an offer from the Cowboys, who wanted to poach him off the practice squad.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) October 17, 2020
To make room for Blough on the 53-man roster, the Lions waived cornerback Chris Jones, who was added to the team a few weeks ago.
Finally, the Lions used up one of their temporary practice squad elevation on tight end Isaac Nauta this week. This will be the first time all season Nauta is eligible to play in Sunday’s game, and his elevation does not take up an additional roster spot. After the game, he’ll be sent back down to the practice squad without hitting waivers.
Earlier in the week, the Lions placed third-string tight end Hunter Bryant on injured reserve. Though Detroit hasn’t used a third tight end this year, this elevation suggests it’s a possibility against the Jaguars.
Here’s a recap of the moves:
- Activated OL Joe Dahl from IR
- Promoted QB David Blough from practice squad to 53-man roster
- Waived CB Chris Jones
- Temporary elevation of TE Isaac Nauta to active roster