Taylor turned heads with his explosive first step and ability to penetrate from the interior in the Lions preseason. He made the initial roster as a defensive tackle, but shifted to the big (closed) defensive end position in Week 5, a role that closely resembled what he did at Appalachian State.
Unfortunately, he was only active in one game this season—Week 5—and only registered 13 defensive snaps. Further complicating his position on the roster was the return of Josh Paschal and John Cominsky from injury. Both players are natural big defensive ends and immediately jumped him on the depth chart. With seven defensive ends on the roster, the Lions had an overload of depth at the position.
There’s a very good chance the Lions are making this move on Thursday because, if he clears waivers, they will have a chance to sign him to their practice squad before this weekend's game. Earlier in the week, the Lions released defensive lineman Bruce Hector, so there is an obvious opening for him there.
So, why is this move necessary? There are two likely positions that need attention. First is kicker, where practice squader Michael Badgley has been twice elevated to the active roster on game day, leaving him with just one remaining elevation from the rest of the season. The other potential issue is depth in the Lions secondary, where four defensive backs—DeShon Elliott, Mike Hughes, Chase Lucas (in a walking boot), and Ifeatu Melifonwu—have not practiced this week and are all in danger of missing this Sunday’s game.