After the surprising release of veteran long snapper Don Muhlbach on Tuesday, the Detroit Lions had one roster spot open to get back to the 85-player limit imposed by the NFL. On Wednesday morning, the Lions filled that spot by signing outside linebacker Rashod Berry.
Berry is a second-year player after spending his rookie season on the New England Patriots practice squad. He was elevated to the 53-man roster several times during the season, and made three game appearances, including 40 defensive snaps and 34 specials teams snaps.
At Ohio State, Berry (6-foot-3, 259 pounds) actually played on both sides of the ball. In his four years as a Buckeye, he caught 17 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end, but he also played defensive end his freshman season, racking up seven tackles in just 10 game appearances.
Berry was part of the Patriots’ cuts down to 85 players this week, and while he made it through waivers without getting claimed, the Lions quickly snagged up him afterwards.
In Detroit, Berry figures to provide the Lions depth on the EDGE and special teams, where he can compete for time. His athleticism and ability to play in all five phases of special teams could be enough to help him stick around on the practice squad if he makes a positive impression during the last three weeks of training camp.