The Detroit Lions announced on Friday that they have waived nickel cornerback AJ Parker.
Parker was an undrafted rookie last year who ended up winning the nickel job early in the season. In 13 games (seven starts), Parker tallied seven pass breakups and an interception.
However, in 2022, the Lions sought to improve the competition at the nickel position. Not only did they sign Mike Hughes in free agency, but they also drafted Chase Lucas in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Hughes won the job out of training camp, while Parker was eventually relegated to the practice squad.
Injuries gave Parker the opportunity to start against the Patriots and Cowboys. However, the Lions secondary is as healthy as it has been in a while. Hughes has shifted to the outside to replace Amani Oruwariye in the starting lineup, but Will Harris has emerged as the team’s favorite option at nickel. And with Lucas now returning from an ankle injury, the Lions have somewhat good depth at the position.
The Lions now have two open roster spots heading into the weekend, this one and the one created by moving running back Craig Reynolds to injured reserve. The Lions will likely fill those two roster spots on Saturday. It’s unclear how they’ll use those roster spots, but one potential option is taking fullback Jason Cabinda off the Physically Unable to Perform list. Cabinda has been practicing for two weeks now after dealing with ankle injuries, and coach Dan Campbell said on Friday it’s possible he returns this week.
“Yeah, we’re hopeful,” Campbell said. “We’ll see what it looks like today and that’ll tell us a lot going into this game, how he looks and feels. But he’s put in a couple of days work and then we’ll see how he is today.”
Be on the lookout on Saturday to see the final roster moves the Lions make before their matchup with the Chicago Bears. It’s also worth noting that the Lions could very well bring Parker back to the team, but he’ll have to clear waivers this weekend and Detroit would have to wait until next week to re-sign him.