Jefferson made the Lions’ initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, but he was subsequently waived in order to make room for defensive tackle Benito Jones, who was claimed by the team on Wednesday. Jefferson made it through waivers unclaimed, meaning he would be free to sign wherever he pleases. Unlike David Blough—who went through a similar process, but chose to sign with the Minnesota Vikings practice squad—it appears Jefferson will be landing back in Detroit.
Jefferson was the team’s 2021 seventh-round pick. In his rookie season, he made just seven game appearances, carrying the ball 15 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Due to limited special teams skills, Jefferson was deep in Detroit’s running back rotation last year.
However, this offseason, he took on the extra challenge of becoming a better player on special teams, and the coaching staff has taken notice.
“Jermar has taken a nice jump from year one to year two, which he really needed to make because obviously last year wasn’t really good enough,” special teams coach Dave Fipp said last month. “But he has taken a very sizable jump. I’ve told him that. I know he knows that. He has done a great job.”
The Lions are currently just carrying three running backs on their 53-man roster: D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, and Craig Reynolds. That said, Jefferson will join Justin Jackson—who impressed as a rusher in the preseason—on the Lions’ practice squad.
Once Jefferson’s signing becomes official, the Lions will have 15 of their 16 practice squad spots filled. One has to wonder if the Lions will spend that final spot on a quarterback, considering the team only has two signed to the roster right now.