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Detroit Lions signing DE Will Clarke, waive Caleb Benenoch

The Lions have added a versatile defensive lineman after losing Jashon Cornell earlier in the week.

NFL: NOV 29 Rams at Bengals Photo by Mark Lyons/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are adding some talent to their defensive line. On Sunday morning, head coach Matt Patricia announced the team has signed former Bengals defensive end Will Clarke to the roster.

Clarke was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In his first two seasons, Clarke didn’t make much of an impact with the Bengals. But in his third year, he took on a bigger role and managed 4.0 sacks and 15 tackles for the team. The following year, however, he was released by the team and spent the next two years as a rotational piece for the Buccaneers.

Since the middle of the 2018 season, Clarke has been out of the NFL. He signed to be part of the St. Louis BattleHawks for the XFL in 2020 and played in three games before the league disbanded.

Earlier this week, the Lions had to place rookie Jashon Cornell on injured reserve following an Achilles injury suffered during Tuesday’s practice. At 6-foot-6, 271 pounds, Clarke is tall and long, capable of playing both the interior and exterior of the defensive line. He’ll likely enter the competition with Kevin Strong and Frank Herron as a versatile backup to the likes of Da’Shawn Hand and Nick Williams.

To make room for Clarke on the roster, the Lions announced they’ve cut interior offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch. Benenoch was claimed off waivers late last season but did not make any game appearances for the Lions. With all the other depth options at guard, including two rookie draft picks, Benenoch was always a long shot to make the roster.