The Detroit Lions continue to shuffle the back end of their 53-man roster and practice squad. On Tuesday, the Lions announced they have signed safety Jalen Elliott from their practice squad to the active roster, as well as signing tight end Nick Eubanks and wide receiver Travis Jonsen to their practice squad.
On Monday, the Lions waived tight end Darren Fells and wide receiver Tom Kennedy. Then they signed tight end Brock Wright to one of the vacated spots, and now Elliott’s signing fills the last open spot on the active roster. Like Wright, Elliot was elevated from the practice squad in Weeks 7 and 8, and had exhausted his elevation eligibility. Therefore, the only way to make him available on game days was to sign him to the 53-man roster.
In Week 7, Elliott played only on special teams but he was involved in all three of the Lions' trick plays. Last week, in addition to continuing to contribute on special teams, he saw 24 defensive snaps (12 at free safety, nine in the box, and three in the slot), and accounted for two tackles and a 63.2 PFF grade, including a 72.7 grade in coverage.
With Elliott and Wright being promoted from the practice squad, as well as wide receiver Javon McKinley placed on the practice squad injured reserve, the Lions had three open spots available. Eubanks and Jonsen will fill two of them, but the final spot remains open at this time.
Eubanks was a two-year starter at Michigan but went undrafted in 2021. He signed on with the Dallas Cowboys for the offseason but was released at cut downs. He opted not to sign onto the Cowboys practice squad and instead signed with their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, practice squad instead. Eubanks is more of a pass-catcher than a blocker, but at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, and with an 8.61 RAS, he has plenty of upside to roll the dice on.
Jonsen, a former college dual-threat quarterback with Oregon and Montana State, joined the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2020 and converted to receiver. He would land on their practice squad that season where he was coached by current Lions’ wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El.
“He’s big, strong and he can be a wing, he can do a lot of things on special teams as a big-body guy, like a fast tight end,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians told The Athletic back in August. “Carve that niche out. He’s catching the ball. He got wide open that first week, (but) he dropped a lot of balls. I think it was just nerves because he’s got good hands. He’s catching the ball better. He’s one of those guys that’s fighting for that spot to get on the 53 or stay on the practice squad.”