According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Lions are waiving linebacker Anthony Pittman.
The cut is a mild surprise considering how heavy of a special teams contributor Pittman was last year for the team. In 2021, he led the team with 378 special teams snaps—76 more than any other player on the roster.
This year, though, the Lions had a very competitive linebacker room, and Detroit had a tough time figuring out where Pittman fit. They often tried to use him on the edge in subpackages, but Pittman struggled throughout the preseason to generate consistent pressure from that spot.
On Monday, coach Dan Campbell warned that players who were significant contributors last year may not make the roster this season.
“We’re going to probably have to let go of some players that were here all last year that we depended on, did everything we asked them to do, and produced for us last year, but that’s a sign of progress too,” Campbell said.
Pittman is subject to waivers, so it’s entirely possible he passes through waivers and re-joins the team on the practices squad.
After reportedly cutting Jarrad Davis on Monday, the Lions linebacker room currently looks like this: Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes, Malcolm Rodriguez, Chris Board, and Josh Woods. This move is likely good news for Woods, who is closest to the roster bubble of the remaining linebackers. Woods, too, has been a key special teamer, and his play as an off-ball linebacker during the preseason has been quietly very solid.
The Lions have now had nine reported cuts, meaning their roster is now down to 71 players. There need 14 more moves by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to get down to 53 players. Track all of the Lions’ roster moves with our 2022 Detroit Lions roster cuts tracker right here.