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Detroit Lions release CB Quinton Dunbar, sign RB Craig Reynolds

Tough break for the veteran cornerback, as the Lions’ secondary depth takes a big hit.

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday morning they have released veteran cornerback Quinton Dunbar and used his roster spot to sign free agent running back Craig Reynolds.

It’s a tough break for Dunbar, who missed almost all of training camp with an undisclosed personal issue.

“He’s out with personal issues,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said earlier this week. “But he’s communicating. We know where he’s at. We know what’s going on and we’re thinking about him.”

Dunbar was expected to compete for a starting job at outside cornerback with Amani Oruwariye, but the camp battle never got off the ground with Dunbar away from the practice facility. He came to Detroit with serious promise, having one of the better seasons of any NFL cornerback in 2019.

With Dunbar gone, the Lions’ cornerback depth is now very questionable. Jeff Okudah and Oruwariye are expected to hold the starting jobs, but there aren’t many other options with experience. Campbell did note that Mike Ford, who had been repping at nickel all training camp, would get some work on the outside going forward. Detroit also drafted cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, though he’s been practicing mostly at the slot in nickel and dime situations.

Reynolds went undrafted out of Kutztown in 2019 and originally signed with the Washington Football Team after a tryout at rookie minicamp and impressing coaches. After cutdowns he was signed to their practice squad and promoted to the active roster for one game, but was eventually released once the running back depth chart got healthy. He joined the Atlanta Falcons practice squad soon after, and earned a futures deal at season’s end. He joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, spent the season on and off the practice squad, and was elevated for one game in Week 16. He once again signed a futures deal but was released this offseason.

Like most Lions running backs, Reynolds is a one-cut runner who has talent when in space. He also has the ability to compete as a returner due to his vision and smooth agility when the ball is in his hands. He will likely compete with recently signed Javon Leake at the end of the running back depth chart.