On Monday, the Detroit Lions made their first round of cuts to get down to 72 players. While the team did not make any of these moves officials, the following cuts were leaked to the media in the past 24 hours: QB Tim Boyle, WR Kalil Pimpleton, WR Tom Kennedy, TE Devin Funchess, OT Kendall Lamm, LB Jarrad Davis, CB Saivion Smith, CB Mark Gilbert.
While none of these cuts are particularly surprising, they did answer some of the big questions we had going into roster cuts. For one, the waiving of Tim Boyle answers whether the Lions would stay complacent at backup quarterback or not. Obviously, it’s still unknown whether David Blough will remain on the roster, but all signs now point to the Lions at least adding a new practice squad quarterback—although there always remains a possibility that Boyle returns to the practice squad, as well. That seems unlikely, though.
Additionally, we gained a little more clarity on what the Lions’ wide receiver room may look like this year. Kennedy was a tough competitor out there and made a strong case for the WR5 or WR6 spot, but now it appears that job will likely go to Quintez Cephus, Trinity Benson, Maurice Alexander, or two of those three.
The Lions have 19 more moves to make before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, and there are still plenty of questions to answer about this roster. So today’s Question of the Day is:
What is the biggest question remaining about the Detroit Lions roster after Day 1 of roster cuts?
My answer: The status of David Blough remains a big question. How the Lions will sort out a competitive running backs room also carries a lot of intrigue.
But the question that I’m still interested in finding out is: How will this team navigate its injured players?
Detroit has already shelved four players for the first four games of the season: FB Jason Cabinda, WR Jameson Williams, EDGE Romeo Okwara, and EDGE Josh Paschal. Those four do not count against the roster, and were considered fairly straightforward moves.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg right now. The Lions have five other players who are currently injured that do count against the roster, and each of them have been contributors to this team in the past.
Levi Onwuzurike hasn’t practiced since the first day of pads in training camp, and it looks like his back/hip injury is lingering for a long time. According to Dan Campbell, Julian Okwara is the closest to returning and has a shot at playing in Week 1. Jerry Jacobs is currently on the active/PUP, but Detroit has to make a decision on Tuesday whether to activate him from that list and put him on the 53-man roster or place him on the reserve/PUP and disqualify him for the first four weeks of the season. Given that Campbell already said he will miss Week 1, the Lions have to decide whether he’s worth the roster spot for a couple weeks of practice and being available for one or two extra games. Additionally, safeties Ifeatu Melifonwu and C.J. Moore have injuries of unknown degrees.
With everyone but Jacobs, the Lions have essentially four options:
- Place them on IR before the 53-man roster deadline, ending their 2022 seasons
- Keep them on the initial 53-man roster, but place them on IR after 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, meaning they will miss at least four games
- Keep them on the 53-man roster and just wait their injury out
- Cut them with an injury settlement
Okwara seems the most likely to just make the team, but everyone else remains a mystery. These choices will obviously have a huge impact on the rest of the roster. For each of these injured players the Lions decide to just carry on the 53-man roster—whether that means placing them on IR later or not—the Lions will have to cut someone else.
What’s the biggest roster question you have going into Tuesday’s cuts?