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Detroit Lions activate Nick Williams from Reserve/COVID, waive TE Hunter Thedford

The Lions’ starting defensive tackle should be back at practice, while Detroit’s TE3 job is starting to come into focus.

Detroit Lions Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

After 12 days spent on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Williams has been activated and is eligible to practice again.

Williams looked impressive in the first week of training camp, and he has been hailed as a leader in the defensive line position group. Obviously, this was derailed by contracting COVID, but the veteran defensive tackle noted on Twitter that he was feeling okay.

“I feel fine just had cold chills one night and have a slight headache. Other than that I’m doing good,” Williams tweeted on August 7.

Williams figures to be part of the Lions’ defensive line rotation and will likely be a starter, if early camp reps were any indication. That means players like Kevin Strong and Bruce Hector, who have had impressive camps and preseason performances, will have a tougher time landing on the 53-man roster.

To make room for Williams, the Lions announced they have waived tight end Hunter Thedford. The Lions added Thedford at the beginning of the year, hoping his promising college career as a blocking tight end would translate to the NFL. Unfortunately, he struggled in camp and didn’t distance himself from a group of young players.

That move leaves the Lions precariously thin at tight end. During Tuesday’s practice, the Lions had just three healthy tight ends on the field: Thedford, Darren Fells, and Alize Mack. T.J. Hockenson’s injury is not considered serious, so we could see him return soon. Brock Wright’s issue is currently unknown. The Lions also have the option of moving recently-signed Rashod Berry to tight end. Berry is listed as an outside linebacker on the Lions’ official website—and was announced as such on social media—, but he mostly played tight end at Ohio State.