The Detroit Lions announced on Saturday afternoon that they have activated the maximum of two players from the practice squad to potentially play in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. Tight end Brock Wright and safety Jalen Elliott have been temporarily activated, meaning each are available to play Sunday and both will be sent back to the practice squad after the game.
For both Wright and Elliott, it’s their first opportunity to play in a regular season game this year, as both have spent the entirety of the first six weeks on the practice squad. In fact, this is an opportunity for each player to get their first NFL action of their respective careers.
Elliott spent all of 2020 on the Lions’ practice squad after going undrafted. His promotion is likely to help out on special teams, as the team seems fairly comfortable with Tracy Walker, Will Harris and Dean Marlowe on defense.
Wright is an undrafted rookie who signed with the Lions shortly after the draft. Noted more for his blocking, Wright caught just seven passes for 78 yards in three years at Notre Dame. His promotion comes a few weeks after the Lions did the same with practice squad tight end Shane Zylstra for the Vikings game. Zylstra would end up playing a dozen special team snaps.
Wright is likely getting the call up as insurance for T.J. Hockenson, who continues to deal with a knee injury. While Hockenson is expected to play, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn indicated that players who have been limited in practice may see smaller roles on Sundays.
“You have some guys that didn’t practice as much last week and it showed up in the game,” Lynn said. “Guys that don’t practice as much, we won’t put as much on their plate, regardless of who they are.”
Hockenson did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on both Thursday and Friday. So there is a chance he may have his role scaled back against the Rams, but it’s unclear if the Lions can afford that given the Lions tight end has been their most productive receiver thus far with 32 catches, 311 yards and two touchdowns.