The Detroit Lions announced on Saturday morning that they have placed defensive tackle Nick Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Williams is now the third Lions player to have been placed on the list during training camp. Guard Evan Heim was placed on the list at the beginning of camp and has since returned. Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin remains on the list, but was in attendance at practice on Friday, suggesting he may be taken off the list soon.
Williams has been a part of the Lions' starting lineup at practice and was having a good camp. With his absence, the Lions find themselves in a tough spot at defensive tackle. During Friday’s practice, the Lions were missing nose tackle John Penisini and veteran Michael Brockers remains just an observer at practice.
To help mitigate the issue, the Lions signed two defensive tackles, P.J. Johnson and Michael Barnett. Johnson you may remember as a former Lions pick. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He did not end up making the team and has since had brief stints with the Chargers, Seahawks, Cardinals, and Panthers. He gives the Lions a little more depth at nose tackle, even though the Lions signed Miles Brown on Friday.
Barnett is a former Georgia Bulldog who went undrafted in 2020 but signed with the Patriots that August. His entire rookie season was lost to an injury and the Patriots decided to release him back in April. At 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, Barnett is mostly a run stuffer who did not log a sack in college.
As for Williams, the timeline for his return to the roster depends on a couple of factors: his vaccination status and whether this incident was the result of a positive test or a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The Lions roster is now back up to 90-players deep, the maximum allowed at this point in the offseason.