NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the Detroit Lions are releasing defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand from injured reserve with an injury settlement.
“The #Lions are releasing DL Da’Shawn Hand off IR today with an injury settlement, source said,” Pelissero Tweeted. “Should be healthy in a few weeks. Potential D-line help for a playoff-bound team.”
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, Hand flashed as a rookie playing in 13 games—starting eight—but missed the final three after being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. This was an unfortunate sign of this to come.
In 2019, Hand was slow to return to offseason workouts, and once he was finally healthy enough to pass medical exams, he only got in a few practices before injuring his shoulder. Hand would miss the first six games, return for two weeks, then suffer an ankle injury. He would once again return to action after missing a few games, but immediately re-injured his ankle and was placed on injured reserve.
In 2020, Hand was healthier, only missing three games to injury before once again injuring his ankle and finishing the season on injured reserve.
This past offseason, with a new coaching staff in tow, Hand was rejuvenated, entering training camp in what he believed was the best shape of his life, was ready to prove he could stay healthy and become an impact player in the NFL.
“When you work so hard to try to stay healthy and things just don’t go your way, you just gotta get back up,” Hand said during training camp. “I’ve been blessed to keep having opportunities to come back. They believe in me. I’ve been doing things the right way, so things have paid off and that’s why I’m still here. I just want my talents to show. I want to stay healthy and I want to show y’all I can really do this. I can be a bona fide player in this league.”
He was injured the next day.
Hand started the season on injured reserve (groin) and missed the first seven weeks of the 2021 season. He returned to a modest eight snaps against the Eagles in Week 8, saw his largest amount of snaps in some time (68) against the Steelers Week 9, then he re-injured his groin in Week 10 against the Browns and was placed on injured reserve—the fifth time in his four year career.
Because this was the second time Hand was placed on injured reserve by the Lions this season, he was not eligible to return to Detroit’s roster. But, as Pelissero indicated, Hand should be healthy in a few weeks, and the Lions did him a favor by releasing him with an injury settlement.
Once healthy, and the terms of the settlement are met, Hand is free to sign with one of the 31 other NFL teams. He is not eligible to return to the Lions until three weeks past the settlement date, which for all intents and purposes, eliminates him from returning to the Lions in 2021.
Because Hand was on injured reserve, he did not count against the Lions’ 53-man roster but he did count against the salary cap. Therefore, they do not gain any additional roster space but they do gain is a bit of cap space, roughly $300,000 in new room.