Former Detroit Lions safety and special teams ace C.J. Moore has signed onto the Houston Texans practice squad, per Tuesday’s NFL transaction report.
Moore originally signed with the Lions out of the University of Mississippi in 2019 and he made the 53-man roster his rookie season behind his stellar special teams play. Moore began his professional career as a gunner, but switched to a personal protector role in his second year and thrived there over the next two seasons.
While Moore was only sparsely used on defense during his time in Detroit—just 238 defensive snaps over three seasons—but he was a reliable fourth safety. He did have one start in 2021 after the team switched Will Harris to corner and Tracy Walker was ruled out due to a positive COVID-19 result.
Moore was re-signed in 2022 and was expected to be a steady reserve safety and starting special teams player, but he opened up training camp on the reserve list and quickly fell behind on the depth chart. When he finally got healthy enough to practice, he re-injured his foot and was shut back down. Eventually, Moore was released with an injury settlement at cutdowns, as they didn’t have the space to keep yet another injured defender on the active roster.
According to the NFL rules, Moore was required to sit out a specific number of games—determined in the injury settlement—and the Lions paid him for his time missed, similar to workman’s compensation. Moore had his first tryout of the 2022 regular season (with the Texans) on Monday, indicating his injury settlement had been fulfilled, and he was now a free agent.
With Tracy Walker on injured reserve, could the Lions have considered re-signing Moore?
While Moore was technically a free agent, there is one final stipulation that comes with an injury settlement: once Moore reaches free agent status, he can sign with any of the 31 teams, except the Lions. If he wished to re-sign with Detroit, he must wait an additional three weeks before he is eligible. This stipulation is put in place to prevent teams from taking advantage of the injury designation rules.
With his Monday tryout going well, Moore signed onto the Texans practice squad. As is the case with all practice squad players, they can be poached and signed to the active roster of any team, save the Lions, who would need to wait out the stipulation window.