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Detroit Lions sign DE Kareem Martin to practice squad, protect 4 players from poaching

The Lions made an interesting swap on their practice squad.

New York Giants v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions made a couple of roster moves on Tuesday, as they turn their attention to Week 2’s game against the Green Bay Packers. After officially announcing that cornerback Justin Coleman was going to injured reserve, the Lions also made a swap on the practice squad. Detroit signed veteran defensive end Kareem Martin to the 16-man squad, while letting Jonathan Wynn go.

Martin is a former third-round pick for the Arizona Cardinals. Though he’s never been much of a pass rusher (5.0 career sacks), he’s played well as a run defender in his six-year career. His best season was in 2018 with the New York Giants, when he tallied 48 tackles, 10 quarterback hits and 5.0 tackles for loss.

Unfortunately for Martin, he suffered a knee injury that landed him on IR in Week 1 of the 2019 season. Though he ended up returning in December, he didn’t see much football last year and was released by the Giants this February.

After announcing the placement of Coleman on IR, the Lions still have an open spot on their 53-man roster. Given all of the cornerback injuries and the reported visits by defensive backs, it seems likely the Lions add one in the next day or two.

In addition to all of that, the Lions officially designated four protected players on their 16-man practice squad that now cannot be poached by any other teams for the remainder of the week:

QB David Blough
TE Isaac Nauta
CB Dee Virgin
RB Kerrith Whyte

We’ll likely see Blough on this list every week, as the team believes in him as a potential developmental project. Nauta on the list suggests third-string tight end Hunter Bryant isn’t likely to return from injury this week. Dee Virgin makes a lot of sense, because the Lions could use some cornerback depth that can also play special teams. As for Kerrith Whyte, he was added to the practice squad last week, and the Lions may not want to lose a speedy, receiving back like they did with fifth-round pick Jason Huntley.