Earlier in the week, Detroit Lions defensive end Austin Bryant returned to practice after spending the first six weeks of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Now, cornerback Justin Coleman will return to practice this week, as well.
Coleman suffered a hamstring injury in the opening week of the season and was placed on injured reserve. The injury was obviously a little more on the serious side, as the Lions could’ve returned him to practice after three weeks, but it has now been over five weeks.
For now, though, Coleman remains on injured reserve. We’ll see how he looks in practice and if he can trend towards playing this week against an impressive set of Falcons receivers. However, the Lions don’t have to activate him from injured reserve right away. They have up to 21 days to decide when he’s ready, and in the meantime, he won’t count against the 53-man roster limit.
Since Coleman has been out, veteran Darryl Roberts has stood in for him at the nickel cornerback position and played fairly well. Roberts has one interceptions, three pass breakups and a PFF grade of 55.0 in five games.
The Lions also announced a move on the practice squad. Reserve lineman Beau Benzschawel has been cut from the practice squad and replaced by running back Dalyn Dawkins. Dawkins is a third-year player who was undrafted out of Colorado State. He spent his first two years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, but mostly on the team’s practice squad. He was waived mid-training camp this year and has been looking for employment since.
Dawkins is an undersized back who has just average athletic traits. However, he was highly productive at Colorado State, rushing for 1,399 yards and eight touchdowns in his final college season.
The Lions have been searching for practice squad depth at running back since cutting both Ty Johnson and Jason Huntley. Previously, they added Kerryth White to the practice squad, but a serious injury landed him on IR.