The team announced on Saturday afternoon that they are promoting offensive tackle Dan Skipper and defensive tackle Frank Herron from the practice squad. They are doing so in accordance to new rules this year that allow teams to temporarily add players to the 53-man roster from the practice squad without having to make a corresponding move. Both Skipper and Herron will revert back to the practice squad after Sunday’s game.
Skipper’s promotion may say something about the availability of Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has been battling a foot injury for most of the season. Vaitai missed Wednesday’s practice, and while he returned for Thursday and Friday, media on hand reported he wasn’t doing much. If Vaitai can’t go, Tyrell Crosby would likely start at right tackle, and Skipper would provide an emergency option if Detroit suffered an in-game injury.
As for Herron, his promotion may have to do with Nick Williams’ availability. Williams has a shoulder injury and did not practice on Friday. Prior to Herron’s promotion, the Lions had just three healthy defensive tackles on the roster: Danny Shelton, John Penisini and Da’Shawn Hand. Herron gives them some extra depth in case Williams can’t go on Sunday.
Herron has only made three career game appearances at the NFL level. In the Lions’ final three games of the 2019 season, Herron logged rotational snaps at defensive tackle, racking up a total of six tackles.