The Detroit Lions waived five players and traded one Sunday as they shed their roster down to 80 in order to have full team practices in the upcoming week. For the most part, the players who did not make it to the 80-man team were guys with little chance to make the roster anyways. Camp bodies who needed a miracle to see Week 1. Two of the moves seemed to really stand out, though.
A pair of wide receivers, Chris Lacy and Travis Fulgham, were among those waived by the team. Both are players were featured on the initial 2019 53-man roster, and both had a real chance to compete for a roster spot once Geronimo Allison opted out of the 2020 season. The team chose to waive the pair early on in the process, though, signalling that they may already be set at wide receiver.
Detroit is likely to keep five receivers on the roster, maybe a sixth if they choose to drop an additional skill position player elsewhere. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola are obvious locks to fill three of those spots. Fifth-round draft pick Quintez Cephus would need to have a disaster camp to miss the roster, so you can expect him to fill a fourth spot. Allison opted out, taking his name out of the running for spot five. That left Lacy, Fulgham and 2019 stand out Marvin Hall competing for the final spot (Jamal Agnew only likely gets in as a gadget running back type if the team does not carry a fullback).
Receiver was looking like the most interesting camp battle entering the month, but after a week of split squad training camp it appears that the decisions have already been made.
After Hall, the remaining names the Lions have at receiver are Tom Kennedy, Geremy Davis, and Victor Bolden. Kennedy should be a familiar name for some fans, as he featured for the team in 2019 preseason before missing the roster. Davis played in seven games for the Los Angeles Chargers last season, but only caught three passes as he mainly featured on special teams. Bolden spent most of the 2019 regular season unemployed, before the Lions added him to their practice squad in December. All three are camp bodies who are long shots to make the roster—and all certainly have less of a chance than players like Lacy and Fulgham.
Detroit making these moves this early give the pair of receivers a chance to find another home and have enough time to win a roster spot elsewhere. But they would only make these moves if they were totally sure about the guys they have.
The Lions have one of the league’s best receiving groups top to bottom. In a way, the moves they made Sunday solidify that and show the coaching staff truly does have faith in the guys they have on the roster.