Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell plans to “shake things up” on the roster, but when it comes to the practice squad, there were no changes made in Week 7. As always, they have elected to not only protect the maximum four players but the same four players that were protected last several weeks:
- Steven Montez, QB
- Bruce Hector, DL
- Jalen Elliott, S
- Ryan Santoso, K
The strategy of protecting Montez is sound, as reserve quarterback Tim Boyle is still expected to be on injured reserve a bit longer. Protecting Montez until Boyle is healthy and cleared from IR, assures they will have three quarterbacks available for practices and in an emergency game situation.
Hector and Elliott are presumed value players because they stood out during the preseason and training camp, but strangely, when the Lions have required depth at their positions, they have looked in other directions. That suggests they may be protected with 2022 in mind and they likely won't be called upon this season.
As mentioned last week, with kicker Austin Seibert back on the roster, protecting Santoso suggests a kicker battle. But Seibert converted on his single field goal opportunity last week and hasn’t missed since Week 1. So far this season, Seibert has successfully made kicks from 35, 39, 40, 43, 49, and 52 yards, with his only miss coming from 51 yards. Meanwhile, Santoso has converted on his only attempt, from 35 yards, in a clutch movement against Baltimore.
Until Seibert misses, we probably won't see Santoso on the active roster for a while, if at all. But at the same time, with kicking around the NFL being an adventure this season, there’s really no harm in holding onto and protecting assets.