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Detroit Lions expected to sign QB Nate Sudfeld

The Detroit Lions have a new backup quarterback in Nate Sudfeld.

San Francisco 49ers v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Just minutes after news dropped that the Detroit Lions have waived backup quarterback David Blough, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the team has already found his replacement. Per Rapoport, the Lions are signing former 49ers backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

Sudfeld was a former 2016 sixth-round pick out of Indiana but lasted just a year with Washington before being waived. He was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles and stayed there for the next four seasons—alongside current Lions assistant head coach Duce Staley. Over that time, he would only make four game appearances, completing 25-of-37 passes for 188 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

However, the Eagles clearly valued Sudfeld. As a restricted free agent in 2019, the Eagles placed a second-round tender on him—a clear sign they didn’t want to lose him that year. Unfortunately for Sudfeld, he suffered a broken wrist that preseason and did not suit up.

He eventually landed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2021 to serve as a third-stringer behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. While it seemed like he may be in line for the backup job this year, the 49ers eventually worked out an agreement to keep Garoppolo in San Francisco as the primary backup, while rookie Brad Purdy won the third-stringer job.

This preseason, Sudfeld played in all three games, completing 26-of-38 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Sudfeld is a tall passer (6-foot-6) who enjoyed a pretty successful career as a three-year starter at Indiana. There, he completed 60.3 of his passes for 8.0 yards per attempt while connecting on 61 touchdowns to just 20 interceptions. He has decent arm strength, and while he has good athleticism, he mostly fits as a pocket passer.

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